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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #345 on: July 24, 2017, 07:00:43 PM »
Water is great thermal mass, but it has real problems inside a van in an Alaska Winter.  It gives off water vapor, which is great for your nostrils and lungs, but horrible for the windows of the van.  You get a nice thick layer of frost on all the windows including the windshields it you use water for thermal mass.

You also can also only heat up water to 212F/100C before it starts boiling on you.  Rocks, you can heat to 500F and more if you want to, but you would be a Darwin Award winner if you did that.  Then even with properly done and insulated containers for them you would risk combustion.  In my videos I show how to make a proper container box for your HOT ROCKS.  I NEVER would heat my rocks up past 400F, it's nuts you would never need so much heat.  350F is a good temp to stop at.  I measure the heat of the rocks with either a Meat or Candy thermometer.  Meat thermometers go to the 200F Range, Candy thermometers to the 500F range.  But I don't really need them, I can tell the temp just by waving my hand over the rocks.  If it feels burning hot when my hand is about a foot above the rocks, this is fucking hot enough!

I'll be doing measurements of heat loss in SaVANnah over the winter utilizing the system, and hopefully in this case we will get some really super cold Alaska nights in the -30F Below range.  I personally will not be IN SaVANnah on those nights of course. lol.  I'll do it in the parking lot in front of my digs.  I'm betting one box of HOT ROCKS will keep SaVANnah toasty warm all night.  I'll periodically go out and record both the internal and external temperatures.

RE
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 07:18:31 PM by RE »
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Offline azozeo

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #346 on: July 24, 2017, 08:23:24 PM »
If your going to spend the dinero's ($4000) to shack up for a few months why not use the money to
head south like the rest of the blue haired snow birds. $1200 round trip in fuel & 2 oil changes should be
your maintenance costs.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why youíre here. Youíre here because you know something. What you know you canít explain, but you feel it. Youíve felt it your entire life, that thereís something wrong with the world.
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #347 on: July 24, 2017, 08:54:39 PM »
If your going to spend the dinero's ($4000) to shack up for a few months why not use the money to
head south like the rest of the blue haired snow birds. $1200 round trip in fuel & 2 oil changes should be
your maintenance costs.

3 months @ $800/mo is only $2400, not $4000.

In fact though, if I was living the life full time, I sure as hell would not stay in Alaska through the winter!  lol.  I would get on the Al-Can around September or so, before any real threat of heavy snow while all the passes are clear.  I would take a week maybe two to make that drive and enjoy the scenery and shoot some pics with my NEW Pocket Powerhouse cam.  :icon_sunny:

Then through Sept-Oct I wold visit with Diners in the north of the lower 48 to get more pics of the Fall Colors.  As it got colder, I would head further south to visit with Eddie on the Toothstead and LD & GM ins South Carolina.  In Dec-Jan, I would take off on my own and head for Margaritaville in the Florida Keys.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/6cbX4DUACYU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/6cbX4DUACYU</a>

Then in Feb, start the reverse trip.  Rinse & Repeat as long as the gas is still available to do it with.

Energy wise, I don't think I would use as much in a year as the typical McMansion Dweller, because my costs for heating and cooling are so low because the volume of space I control the temps in is so small.  My energy cost is consumed in moving around the vehicle to the right temperature regime.

If I am still above ground next year, after all my testing is complete and the SS mess is tied up, I will do this.  I will go OTR one more time, and I will die somewhere over the road.

RE
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #348 on: July 24, 2017, 09:07:14 PM »
"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect.  I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going.  In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than $.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."



I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year. 

 If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.






« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 09:14:46 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #349 on: July 24, 2017, 09:23:57 PM »

"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect.  I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going.  In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than $.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."


I didnt know lighter fluid comes for 2$ a litre, maybe discounted with a 5$ bag of wood. I didnt know u are allowed campfires at truckstops. I
There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect.  I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going.  In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than $.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year. 

 If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.

There is no constructive criticism in your posting, only attempts to deconstruct, which are immense failures every time.

No, you can't make fires in a ring in Truckstops, but you most certainly can set up your charcoal grill in the parking lot. You never did this shit UB, I DID IT.  I KNOW how lighter fluid lights up, I have been using that shit since I was 10 years old.  I am not in the least bit worried it will blow up in my face.  Only a complete idiot who doesn't use the stuff would think it would do that.  It's NOT gasoline! lol.

The bag of firewood was NOT expensive, in fact I got it for FREE!  :icon_sunny:  I explain how in the full video.

So go fuck yourself because you are simply firing out of your asshole and no nothing of what you speak.

RE
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Offline RE

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RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Combustibility Principles for Fire Starting
« Reply #350 on: July 24, 2017, 10:05:49 PM »
UB brought up the issue of the possibility that sprinkling on so much Lighter Fluid onto my pile of logs might have caused this to blow up in my face, hovered right over the logs when I lit it up.  That was impossible.

Lighter fluid is a mix of petrochemicals that has a pretty high vapor pressure until it gets heated up a bit.  So at first when you light it, you just get a bit of flame. then it heats up the fluid around it, and the flame expands pretty fast after that.  But you have plenty of time to move away before the fire gets too big, no matter how much of the stuff you sprinkle down.

Kero has a lower vapor pressure, and is a bit more tricky to use as a fire starter, and gasoline is very tricky to use.  If you sprinkled down gasoline on those logs and lit it up with a Bic Lighter like I did, you would get FRIED!  lol.  If I use gasoline to start a fire, I do it with a long lighter and duck and cover!  It goes up REALLY FAST!  :o

On the camping/backpack level, lighter fluid is WAY better than tinder in your backpack.  What I used to do was have a small plastic squeeze bottle of the stuff in my backpack.  Arriving at a campsite, I would collect a few twigs and some larger branches.  No tinder, no super small stuff.  Then I would make a little TeePee out of the small stuff I collected and drip a few drops of lighter fluid over it.  Strike a Match, touch to the TeePee, INSTANT FIRE!  This worked even in the rain.

It helps to have some experience with this stuff before you start firing bullshit out of your asshole.

RE
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #351 on: July 24, 2017, 11:04:34 PM »

"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect.  I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going.  In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than $.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."


I didnt know lighter fluid comes for 2$ a litre, maybe discounted with a 5$ bag of wood. I didnt know u are allowed campfires at truckstops. I
There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect.  I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going.  In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than $.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year. 

 If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.

There is no constructive criticism in your posting, only attempts to deconstruct, which are immense failures every time.

No, you can't make fires in a ring in Truckstops, but you most certainly can set up your charcoal grill in the parking lot. You never did this shit UB, I DID IT.  I KNOW how lighter fluid lights up, I have been using that shit since I was 10 years old.  I am not in the least bit worried it will blow up in my face.  Only a complete idiot who doesn't use the stuff would think it would do that.  It's NOT gasoline! lol.

The bag of firewood was NOT expensive, in fact I got it for FREE!  :icon_sunny:  I explain how in the full video.

So go fuck yourself because you are simply firing out of your asshole and no nothing of what you speak.

RE

Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey?

I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know. 

 That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$ a litre and that was like 200 ml.

I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night,  bullshit again,  which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper.

I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit.

Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site.



« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 11:22:34 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #352 on: July 25, 2017, 03:29:18 AM »

Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey?

I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know. 

Here's what you said:

I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap.

Now moving on...

Quote
That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$ a litre and that was like 200 ml.

The bottle cost $2 at Walmart.  I used about 1/4 of the bottle.  I ALSO said I only used so much for the visual effect.  Normally I would use half of that amount or less.

Quote
I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night,  bullshit again,  which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper.

They'll stay hot all night in an insulated box.  The question is how much you can raise the internal temperature of the van letting out a little heat at a time.

Quote
I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit.

I never said you don't know how to make a fire.

Quote
Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site.

I never asked you to come back.  Why would I do that?  You're a jerk.

RE
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:16:08 AM by RE »
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Offline agelbert

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #353 on: July 25, 2017, 09:25:38 AM »
Water is great thermal mass, but it has real problems inside a van in an Alaska Winter.  It gives off water vapor, which is great for your nostrils and lungs, but horrible for the windows of the van.  You get a nice thick layer of frost on all the windows including the windshields it you use water for thermal mass.

You also can also only heat up water to 212F/100C before it starts boiling on you.  Rocks, you can heat to 500F and more if you want to, but you would be a Darwin Award winner if you did that.  Then even with properly done and insulated containers for them you would risk combustion.  In my videos I show how to make a proper container box for your HOT ROCKS.  I NEVER would heat my rocks up past 400F, it's nuts you would never need so much heat.  350F is a good temp to stop at.  I measure the heat of the rocks with either a Meat or Candy thermometer.  Meat thermometers go to the 200F Range, Candy thermometers to the 500F range.  But I don't really need them, I can tell the temp just by waving my hand over the rocks.  If it feels burning hot when my hand is about a foot above the rocks, this is fucking hot enough!

I'll be doing measurements of heat loss in SaVANnah over the winter utilizing the system, and hopefully in this case we will get some really super cold Alaska nights in the -30F Below range.  I personally will not be IN SaVANnah on those nights of course. lol.  I'll do it in the parking lot in front of my digs.  I'm betting one box of HOT ROCKS will keep SaVANnah toasty warm all night.  I'll periodically go out and record both the internal and external temperatures.

RE


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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #354 on: July 25, 2017, 03:17:43 PM »

Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey?

I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know. 

Here's what you said:

I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap.

Now moving on...

Quote
That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$ a litre and that was like 200 ml.

The bottle cost $2 at Walmart.  I used about 1/4 of the bottle.  I ALSO said I only used so much for the visual effect.  Normally I would use half of that amount or less.

Quote
I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night,  bullshit again,  which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper.

They'll stay hot all night in an insulated box.  The question is how much you can raise the internal temperature of the van letting out a little heat at a time.

Quote
I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit.

I never said you don't know how to make a fire.

Quote
Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site.

I never asked you to come back.  Why would I do that?  You're a jerk.

RE


 
So as u see there never was a claim that lighter fluid would go voosh like it does in the movies when they set people on fire with it. But i am now just as knowkedgeable as you with the shit, like millions of other people and only an idiot would brag about something so mundane.

Saying u did it for effect is more bullshit. You told the people watching to use a lot, and that was in context of cheap livng. 5c is cheap, not 50 if theyre struggling.

If you were not saying i cant make a fire, why say i have not experienced it.

Yes its a QUESTIONof how warm you can keep it. Saying it WILL stay warm all night was bullshit.

Yes Im a jerk, you got THAT right. But i recall when i recently demurred, you even saying i should do stealth posting when everyone is asleep if they dont like my wasting time on dd. Ive told people in the past to read here to learn about collapse. I could still be getting checked on. That is why if you try and build yourself up by bringing me down, i will slam you straight back harder.

I am in devonport and instead of leaving this morning i left last night and slept in the car. Its only down to 7c  not -7 like my place, so i thought that was ok to do. This stuff on the windows plus using the steel mesh cargo barrier with rubber back picnic mat to seperate the front from back.

A young cop came and asked what i was doing in an otherwise empty carpark when i was getting organised, he didnt mind, but then i had a legit reason.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 03:25:10 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #355 on: July 25, 2017, 04:28:48 PM »
Yes Im a jerk, you got THAT right.

At least there is one thing we can agree on.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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RE Gets a Stealth Van! More Geodesic Gazebo Preps
« Reply #356 on: July 27, 2017, 06:56:02 PM »
I headed over to Home Depot today to pick up the PVC pipe and hardware to build the Geo Gazebo for SaVANnah.  :icon_sunny:

Today's cost was $28.50 for 10 10' lengths of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe and $15 for 50 Nuts&Bolts for the assembly.  I will still need another 5 10' lengths for the legs, plus maybe also 5 more for a base.  I also will need 5 45-60 degree stock elbow joints in 1/2" diameter, and 5 90 degree T-Joints if I do the base.  All those joints come in around $1 each.

To cover it, I haven't decided yet whether I will have a custom cover sewn up in Vinyl, make one myself from Tarp material or perhaps even Hard-Side it in Aluminum sheeting.  The custom cover would be most expensive due to the cost of a professional sailmaker to do it, the material is not expensive though and the sewing job isn't that hard.  If you were doing a full dome, it would pay to invest in a professional machine and do this job yourself.  Tarp is the cheapest because the material is cheap and you DIY, but of course this won't look as good.  Hard siding in Aluminum falls in between.  The material is the most expensive of the choices, but it is a DIY job keeping your cost down.  I will cross this bridge when I get to it.

The bundle of pipe to do the top of the Gazebo didn't take up too much room in SaVANnah even before it has been cut to size.  With all the rest of the pipe it will take up about double the room, but will still easily fit under the bunk in the back of the cabin.  More likely I will buy a Roof Carrier for this stuff though.  Or of course pull a trailer.  I am looking in the size range of 12'-16' for a cargo trailer @ $3000 or less.

Far as starting the build on this and making the videos, not sure when that will happen.  I still have a lot of heating and cooling videos to do, and I am bizzy getting ready for the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ trip and the SSA Hearing.  Bizzy life these daze.  Lot of pipe cutting and drilling to do here.    So this is probably a Fall project to have ready for next Boondocking season.

So far spent was $80 for the connectors, $28.50 for pipe & $15 in hardware for a total of $123.50.  It would be less in the lower 48 because shipping cost on the connectors was expensive to the Last Great Frontier.  Max cost for the rest of the structural materials is $45 for pipe and another $15 in Nuts&Bolts, so $183.50 all together there.  The covering cost varies widely, from $50 to just use a tarp/tarps, to probably $1000 to have a full vinyl cover sewn up.  I'll probably go El Cheapo at first, it's all I really need.  Then the total cost comes in at $233.50, well under my $300 budget for the project.

My design has it set up for free standing, it doesn't need to be attached to SaVANah like an awning.  It CAN be attached with the magnets, but I doubt I will use it that way.  I want it set up so I can drive off the campsite easily to go to the Gym or the Library or do some shopping.

The most likely configuration for longer stays in a given Boondocking location (1 week or more) is:

SaVAN Gazebo 2
SaVAN Gazebo 2

Is that a PALATIAL campsite or what?  ;D

Parenthetically, it came to me that one of these would be a good replacement for the Tent Eddie used to have a sleeping location out in the field on the Toothstead but which was not sturdy enough for more than a season of use set up all the time.  If you hard side one of these with aluminum, it will last longer than you will.  Cost for a full hard side job I estimate at $500.

RE
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 08:14:48 PM by RE »
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Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3
« Reply #357 on: July 30, 2017, 02:05:48 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 30, 2017






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The early part of Day 3 of Boondocking wasn't a whole heck of a lot different than Days 1 & 2, another early trip to the Alaska Club followed by a trip to the Library to do some reading and surf the Doom-o-sphere on their FREE Wi-Fi.  I did dispense with the trip over to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee for one of their expensive Coffee Drinks to save a little money.  I have been spending pretty profligately here over the last couple of days.  I also am planning on spending $15 today on a For Pay campsite, which I really do not have to do but I wanna make some Videos for the I Spy Doom series and this location is a real good spot for making those vids.



http://cdn-tp1.mozu.com/17461-27355/cms/27355/files/a5d90bd6-9530-4375-8361-057286acd1c1?max=650&_mzcb=_1498847188140 I ate a real big breakfast for me of Sausage, Eggs and Homefries, so I am not at all hungry when the afternoon rolls around and really probably could go the whole rest of the day on just that meal, so the remaining 2/3rds of my Subway Spicy Italian Hoagie remains in the cooler for tomorrow.  However, on the drive over to the campground, I go by Matanuska Meats, where not only do they have a fabulous selection of commercially produced meats, they also will prepare any game meat you hunt down as well.  They'll do all the sausages and cut up into nice steaks and roasts as well.  Of course, you pay a price for that and by the time you add in the cost for the hunting trip, it's going to be quite a bit more expensive than just buying a commercial industrially farmed steak, even an organically raised one.  However, you generally can't buy Moose or Caribou off the shelf. Having professionals prepare the meat is far better than doing it yourself, both for the work load involved and the fact they do a far better job and have all the right equipment.



There are some REALLY SUCCULENT looking Aged T-Bone Steaks in the refrigerated display case, and while I KNOW I can't possibly finish one of them, since I am going to a for pay campsite I can do some open fire grilling at, I just HAVE to buy one to have for dinner.  So I go ahead and spend $13 on one of these gorgeous pieces of meat.  That and buying the campsite was all I spent for the day plus the fixed rent cost of $8.50, so all totalled up this was a $36.50 day.  I swear to myself that tomorrow I will not spend so much money!  However, even spending that much, if I had a job at Starbucks as a Barrista and was making just $10/hour, I could have paid for this day with just 4 hours of work serving up the Frappucinos and Espressos.



I arrive at the campsite and drop in at the office to pay for my site and get my parking ticket for the night to drop in my windshield.  I'm not Boondocking now, I have paid RENT for my little patch of the earth for the next 24 hours!  It is MINE, to do with as I please, as long as I obey the park rules anyhow.  Which overall are not too onerous for me, as I don't throw big parties with lots of loud music and I don't leave garbage all over the place.  The only rule which is an issue is NO ALCOHOL, so drinking beer in public in view of others is not such a good idea, although many if not most of the campers do it.  What fun is it to sit around a campfire and shoot the shit with your friends if you can't enjoy a nice Lager or IPA while you do it?  The rule is mostly not enforced, only if you get a real rowdy party going would they probably come down on you for it.  Despite that, I stay pretty stealth with this and mostly drink the occassional beer inside SaVANnah where nobody can see me doing this horrible thing.  I collect the empty cans inside SaVANnah and will dispose of them tomorrow at some dumpster not on this property.



http://www.peakwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Specialized-Mountain-Bike-for-Kids.jpg Once parked, there is a decent amount of action ongoing with kids from other campsites running around and biking the trails, especially for mid-week.  This place is kind of a Paradise for kids, it's quite safe and there are tons of places for them to go exploring and they can even go swim in the river, although you should never let them do that without supervision.  Virtually none of the people here with kids are full time Van Dwellers of course, most of them just do it for a week or two at a time over the summer on vacations.  Some teachers who have the whole summer off will live the life for the whole 2-3 months though.  They go from one park to another, down to Kenai to fish for salmon and so forth.  Up here on the Last Great Frontier it gets a good deal more difficult to live this way around September or so when many places shut down, but it's not impossible.  In any event, when this time of year rolls around, it's time to drive the Al-Can and head for the Florida Keys!  Don't winter in Alaska if you don't have to!  Snowbird it!



If you do have to winter over in Alaska though, it's certainly possible to do it even in your Stealth Van.  Here it depends on your budget mainly in terms of how to do it.



http://kbelectricpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/spaceheater.jpg As long as you have access to electricity, you can withstand about anything an Alaska winter can throw at you inside a Stealth Van, including temps as low as 30F Below Zero.  This because the volume you need to heat is so small and a typical Space Heater will do the job of warming it up in a jiffy!  Such space heaters come in at the whopping cost of around $50-100.



To be getting electricity completely legal though, you're going to have to buy a campsite that stays open through the winter and pay their monthly fee for the worst months of this, Dec-Feb.  Before and after this you can always get away with other forms of heating not requiring electricity.  You could in fact use other forms of heating even in the worst months, but it would be a bit of a pain in the ass.  I certainly have never tried it, but I think I could make it through as long as I had enough kerosene (maybe 15 gallons, according to my friend Van Dweller who has lived this way for 50 years and spent a few of them in Alaska) or enough wood to burn.  So in your Storage Unit, good idea to keep 15 gallons of Kero in there for the winter that comes when the Lights Go Out and nobody has electricity at all.  You will at least get one more winter to watch the SUN‚ėľ rise before you freeze to death in your Stealth Van.



The thing about buying one of these campsites that both stays open AND provides electricity is you will have to pay around $200/week for it.  For this price, I can rent an off-season Cabin rental for the same price!  So on my budget, I would simply add in the cost of buying a cabin for Dec-Feb and living in splendor and comfort for those three months while the Winter Winds whistle outside the cabin door and I have the wood burning stove fired up with plenty of Wood Pellets purchased at Home Depot.  At least until TSHTF of course.  So this does drop $2500 or so onto my yearly rent bill doing this every year.



Snowbirding it and driving SaVANnah down to the Florida Keys or the Baja Peninsula to over-winter, I would likely spend a similar amount of energy.  Instead of the kero or electricity to heat the van, I would need to buy gas to move it across the Al-Can and then down to southern latitudes.  I think it would be slightly cheaper to do it this way, depends on the relative prices for the energy and the rent.  Going south, you could Boondock a lot more and thus avoid paying rent.  No way to calculate this unless you actually did it over a couple of seasons at least, which I have no intention of doing.  That experiment would take at least 4 years to run, spending 2 up here through the winter and then 2 more Snowbirding to the lower 48.  I would need to keep meticulous records of all expenses to make a comparison.  I'm not going to do that.



Back to present day circumstances however, after picking up the Steak at Matanuska Meats I head over to the campgrounds and set up camp, very Spartan this time as the weather is very good with no chance of rain so even the Big Brolly does not get deployed.  The Outdoor Office and Command Center for the Diner is set up on the Picnic Table inside of 5 minutes, complete with electricity for the day.  Nothing else really needs to be done in terms of setup besides getting ready to COOK!



I have my choices on ways to cook my Juicy and Thick T-Bone steak.  I could sautee it with some garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions in a pan over my propane stove right on the picnic table while Admining the Diner, but that would be a waste of a great cut of meat like this!  There is NO SUBSTITUTE for grilling meat over an open fire!  Here also I have choices.  The EZ choice is to just use Propane in my portable propane Coleman Grill or a little less EZ Charcoal Briquets in my Cast Iron Lodge Logic Hibachi.  For this occassion though, I choose the toughest of the choices possible, I am going to cook my steak over an Open fire on the Camp Fire Ring with WOOD!



Now, I am not suited to going out into the woods to collect a bunch of wood for this and split it anymore, so instead I go up to the office and get a pile of firewood for FREE sufficient to make a decent Bonfire, which will last for hours to do a lot of heating and cooking tasks.  Normally said pile of wood would cost you around $5, but I know the camp host and for odd shaped pieces he gives them away free.  My objective is not to make it huge however, just to make it right for cooking on.  This means first getting the fire lit and going, then letting it burn down until you have a pile of hot coals burning about the right temp to cook your steak how you like it.  I like mine "Pittsburgh Rare", which means burned on the outside and still Mooing on the inside.



Prior to getting the fire going, I do a dry rub on the steak of a few spices I have in the larder, including Garlic Powder, Coriander and McCormick "Old Monterrey" spicing, and sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper and sea salt as well and let it sit and absorb them for an hour before cooking.  Once that is done and I have checked for new comments on the Diner, it's time to MAKE A FIRE!



http://media.safebee.com/assets/images/2015/5/beach-bonfire.jpg Now, on a lot of Prepper Websites they make a real big deal out of making a fire from primitive means, going down as far as spinning a fire drill between your hands.  I never mastered that one.  Then there are bow drills, fire pistons and flint and steel too!  Or if you have a sunny day you could use a Magnifying Glass.  There are any number of ways to make a fire.  I don't bog down in this sort of shit.  For my forseeable future, I will have the essentials of fire making available, a Bic Lighter and some Lighter Fluid, Kerosene or Gasoline.  Amazing how fast you can get a nice Bonfire going with a Bic & Kero! lol. "Tinder?  We don't NEED no fucking Tinder!" Try not to torch yourself or start a forest fire though when you do it.  Lighter Fluid is safer than Kero or Gas, it has a lower vapor pressure and doesn't light up as fast.  I will have upcoming I Spy Doom videos on making a fire and outdoor grilling.



At the beginning of course when you light it up, this is a TOTALLY unsuitable fire for cooking, and grilling in paticular.  Way too hot at the grill surface, even for Pittsburgh Rare.  You gott wait until the fire burns down some and you get some coals for more even heat distribution.  Usually takes about a half hour if the wood is dry.  You feed in a little wood at a time until you have the heat hitting the grill around a temp you can't put your hand above it for more than a second or so, and this is about right for fast cooking Pittsburgh Rare.  If you like a more medium level and not so blackened on the outside, then either wait a bit or raise your grill surface higher above the the heat.



Once you have your cooking heat adjusted, the next issue is the cooking surface.  Do NOT use the grate provided in a public camground as your cooking surface, and not because it might have Germs on it.  Those have all been sterilized by heat, in fact not just sterilized but incinerated.  It's because these grates are just grossly too large, and stuff will fall into the fire below, even big ass hamburgers you patty up.  If you work with a big enough steak you are pretty safe, but even here I prefer to use an add on like a BBQ basket for the steak.  Makes it simple to flip, and EZ cleanup too.



https://jehingr.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/campfire-hot-dog.jpg For open fire grilling in other forms of meat, you don't need to use a grill at all, sometimes big Forks or Spears work better.  Hot dogs are done easily on a spear, Bratwurst or Italian Sausage also.  You can buy commercial industrially produced ones, or just make one out of a skinny tree branch.



All the rest of open fire cooking besides meat should be done with some surface between the food to be cooked and the fire below.  I will go over that in a future post or video on outdoor cooking, along with demonstrating the techniques on the I Spy Doom videos that I publish in the middle of the week to supplement this series.



Once your cooking and eating tasks are done for the day and you are esconced at a nice campsite, there's not a whole lot to worry about.  You're in a FOR PAY site and have the RIGHT to be there (paid to Da Goobermint), which the little ticket you post in your windshield says.  The local Gestapo do NOT patrol these places.  Actually even the camp host (old retired guys who stay all summer for free and collect parking fees) doesn't patrol them at night, so if you drive in after midnight and leave by around 6AM, you can park it for free.  I do this on the up and up though and pay my $15 when I stay overnight.  Once you start paying, this is not true Boondocking of course, but it is Semi-Boondocking as long as the cost for the nightly fee is less than what you would pay to rent a monthly apartment space in the neighborhood.  So if rents in the area are going for say $900/mo, that is $30/day.  If you can buy a campsite for $15/day, you are 50% Boondocking.  If you only take such For Pay site every other night, then you are up to 75% Boondocking.  For myself going out OTR. I would probably be in the 50% range for Boondocking most of the time. 4 nights in FREE spots, 2 nights in For Pay campsites and 1 night in a Bates Motel room to charge up all my batts and do my laundry, etc.  Assuming the campsites come in at $15/night and the Bates Motel room comes in at $60/night these days, that is $90/week or around $360/mo, approximately half my current rent.  If the budget demanded it, I could cut the Bates Motel room to once every second week.  There is a lot of flexibility here with this style of living.



http://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/TruckerTim0095-sleeper-sleep.jpg Rent is the NUMERO UNO fixed cost for the Min Wage Worker or an old guy living on Social Security. At Min Wage, Rent in most places is at least 50% of your fixed costs for living. If you can cut your rent down to 1/2 or 1/4 what it costs for a "normal" living arrangement, you can start to save some money.  The main reason I saved money during my trucking years OTR was not because I made so much money, although the income was pretty good prior to 9-11.  The reason was because I had no RENT!  I wasn't paying money to some Scumbag Rentier who owned properties he was renting out to poor people.  I lived basically free in my Freightliner.  Because that was a Bizness, all the fuel was tax deductible too!  In a Van or other rig arrangement not done as a bizness that is not true, but really your fuel costs are not that much right now to do it, maybe $4/day is my estimate, I'll see at the end of the week how much I spent on fuel.  Looks like around $30 right now. If/when the fuel costs go up, this price won't be accurate.  If/when the fuel becomes unavailable, the lifestyle won't be possible at all.  But that is not true RIGHT NOW.  So for today, I go OTR one more day, and enjoy a little bit of nature before it is gone at the End of the Age of Oil.



See you next week for Part 4 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, and WATCH YOUR MIRRORS!


Save As Many As You Can

Offline alaskadronelife

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Re: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3
« Reply #358 on: July 30, 2017, 01:08:59 PM »
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   Published on <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/" target="_blank"><strong>The Doomstead Diner</strong>[/url]<strong> </strong>July 30, 2017
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   <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Campground-Site-1.jpg" rel="" style="" target="" title=""><img alt="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-35771" height="286" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Campground-Site-1.jpg" style="" title="" width="700" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Campground-Site-1.jpg 1000w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Campground-Site-1-300x122.jpg 300w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Campground-Site-1-768x313.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />[/url]
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   Discuss this article at the <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,9711.msg135987/topicseen.html#msg135987" target="_blank"><strong>Doomsteading Table</strong>[/url] inside the Diner
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<p>
   The early part of Day 3 of Boondocking wasn't a whole heck of a lot different than Days 1 & 2, another early trip to the Alaska Club followed by a trip to the Library to do some reading and surf the Doom-o-sphere on their <strong>FREE Wi-Fi.</strong>  I did dispense with the trip over to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee for one of their expensive Coffee Drinks to save a little money.  I have been spending pretty profligately here over the last couple of days.  I also am planning on spending $15 today on a For Pay campsite, which I really do not have to do but I wanna make some Videos for the<a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"> <strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] series and this location is a real good spot for making those vids.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://cdn-tp1.mozu.com/17461-27355/cms/27355/files/a5d90bd6-9530-4375-8361-057286acd1c1?max=650&_mzcb=_1498847188140" src="http://cdn-tp1.mozu.com/17461-27355/cms/27355/files/a5d90bd6-9530-4375-8361-057286acd1c1?max=650&_mzcb=_1498847188140" style="height: 240px; width: 300px; float: right;" /> I ate a real big breakfast for me of Sausage, Eggs and Homefries, so I am not at all hungry when the afternoon rolls around and really probably could go the whole rest of the day on just that meal, so the remaining 2/3rds of my Subway Spicy Italian Hoagie remains in the cooler for tomorrow.  However, on the drive over to the campground, I go by Matanuska Meats, where not only do they have a fabulous selection of commercially produced meats, they also will prepare any game meat you hunt down as well.  They'll do all the sausages and cut up into nice steaks and roasts as well.  Of course, you pay a price for that and by the time you add in the cost for the hunting trip, it's going to be quite a bit more expensive than just buying a commercial industrially farmed steak, even an organically raised one.  However, you generally can't buy Moose or Caribou off the shelf. Having professionals prepare the meat is far better than doing it yourself, both for the work load involved and the fact they do a far better job and have all the right equipment.
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<p>
   There are some <strong>REALLY SUCCULENT</strong> looking Aged T-Bone Steaks in the refrigerated display case, and while I <strong>KNOW</strong> I can't possibly finish one of them, since I am going to a for pay campsite I can do some open fire grilling at, I just <strong>HAVE</strong> to buy one to have for dinner.  So I go ahead and spend $13 on one of these gorgeous pieces of meat.  That and buying the campsite was all I spent for the day plus the fixed rent cost of $8.50, so all totalled up this was a $36.50 day.  I swear to myself that tomorrow I will not spend so much money!  However, even spending that much, if I had a job at Starbucks as a Barrista and was making just $10/hour, I could have paid for this day with just 4 hours of work serving up the Frappucinos and Espressos.
</p>
<p>
   I arrive at the campsite and drop in at the office to pay for my site and get my parking ticket for the night to drop in my windshield.  I'm not Boondocking now, I have paid <strong>RENT</strong> for my little patch of the earth for the next 24 hours!  It is<strong> MINE</strong>, to do with as I please, as long as I obey the park rules anyhow.  Which overall are not too onerous for me, as I don't throw big parties with lots of loud music and I don't leave garbage all over the place.  The only rule which is an issue is <strong>NO ALCOHOL</strong>, so drinking beer in public in view of others is not such a good idea, although many if not most of the campers do it.  What fun is it to sit around a campfire and shoot the shit with your friends if you can't enjoy a nice Lager or IPA while you do it?  The rule is mostly not enforced, only if you get a real rowdy party going would they probably come down on you for it.  Despite that, I stay pretty stealth with this and mostly drink the occassional beer inside SaVANnah where nobody can see me doing this horrible thing.  I collect the empty cans inside SaVANnah and will dispose of them tomorrow at some dumpster not on this property.
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<p>
   <img alt="http://www.peakwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Specialized-Mountain-Bike-for-Kids.jpg" src="http://www.peakwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Specialized-Mountain-Bike-for-Kids.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" /> Once parked, there is a decent amount of action ongoing with kids from other campsites running around and biking the trails, especially for mid-week.  This place is kind of a Paradise for kids, it's quite safe and there are tons of places for them to go exploring and they can even go swim in the river, although you should never let them do that without supervision.  Virtually none of the people here with kids are full time Van Dwellers of course, most of them just do it for a week or two at a time over the summer on vacations.  Some teachers who have the whole summer off will live the life for the whole 2-3 months though.  They go from one park to another, down to Kenai to fish for salmon and so forth.  Up here on the Last Great Frontier it gets a good deal more difficult to live this way around September or so when many places shut down, but it's not impossible.  In any event, when this time of year rolls around, it's time to drive the Al-Can and head for the Florida Keys!  Don't winter in Alaska if you don't have to!  Snowbird it!
</p>
<p>
   If you do have to winter over in Alaska though, it's certainly possible to do it even in your Stealth Van.  Here it depends on your budget mainly in terms of how to do it.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://kbelectricpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/spaceheater.jpg" src="http://kbelectricpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/spaceheater.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right;" /> As long as you have access to electricity, you can withstand about anything an Alaska winter can throw at you inside a Stealth Van, including temps as low as 30F Below Zero.  This because the volume you need to heat is so small and a typical Space Heater will do the job of warming it up in a jiffy!  Such space heaters come in at the whopping cost of around $50-100.
</p>
<p>
   To be getting electricity completely legal though, you're going to have to buy a campsite that stays open through the winter and pay their monthly fee for the worst months of this, Dec-Feb.  Before and after this you can always get away with other forms of heating not requiring electricity.  You could in fact use other forms of heating even in the worst months, but it would be a bit of a pain in the ass.  I certainly have never tried it, but I think I could make it through as long as I had enough kerosene (maybe 15 gallons, according to my friend Van Dweller who has lived this way for 50 years and spent a few of them in Alaska) or enough wood to burn.  So in your Storage Unit, good idea to keep 15 gallons of Kero in there for the winter that comes when the Lights Go Out and nobody has electricity at all.  You will at least get one more winter to watch the <a href="http://sun4living.com" target="_blank"><strong>SUN‚ėľ</strong>[/url] rise before you freeze to death in your Stealth Van.
</p>
<p>
   The thing about buying one of these campsites that both stays open <strong>AND</strong> provides electricity is you will have to pay around $200/week for it.  For this price, I can rent an off-season Cabin rental for the same price!  So on my budget, I would simply add in the cost of buying a cabin for Dec-Feb and living in splendor and comfort for those three months while the Winter Winds whistle outside the cabin door and I have the wood burning stove fired up with plenty of Wood Pellets purchased at Home Depot.  At least until TSHTF of course.  So this does drop $2500 or so onto my yearly rent bill doing this every year.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="" class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-36068" height="163" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Snowbird-Alaska-300x163.png" width="300" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Snowbird-Alaska-300x163.png 300w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Snowbird-Alaska-768x418.png 768w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Snowbird-Alaska-1024x557.png 1024w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Snowbird-Alaska.png 1431w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Snowbirding it and driving SaVANnah down to the Florida Keys or the Baja Peninsula to over-winter, I would likely spend a similar amount of energy.  Instead of the kero or electricity to heat the van, I would need to buy gas to move it across the Al-Can and then down to southern latitudes.  I think it would be slightly cheaper to do it this way, depends on the relative prices for the energy and the rent.  Going south, you could Boondock a lot more and thus avoid paying rent.  No way to calculate this unless you actually did it over a couple of seasons at least, which I have no intention of doing.  That experiment would take at least 4 years to run, spending 2 up here through the winter and then 2 more Snowbirding to the lower 48.  I would need to keep meticulous records of all expenses to make a comparison.  I'm not going to do that.
</p>
<p>
   Back to present day circumstances however, after picking up the Steak at Matanuska Meats I head over to the campgrounds and set up camp, very Spartan this time as the weather is very good with no chance of rain so even the Big Brolly does not get deployed.  The Outdoor Office and Command Center for the Diner is set up on the Picnic Table inside of 5 minutes, complete with electricity for the day.  Nothing else really needs to be done in terms of setup besides getting ready to <strong>COOK!</strong>
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-36069" height="224" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Steak-300x224.jpg" width="300" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Steak-300x224.jpg 300w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Steak-768x574.jpg 768w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Steak.jpg 1000w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />I have my choices on ways to cook my Juicy and Thick T-Bone steak.  I could sautee it with some garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions in a pan over my propane stove right on the picnic table while Admining the Diner, but that would be a waste of a great cut of meat like this!  There is <strong>NO SUBSTITUTE</strong> for grilling meat over an open fire!  Here also I have choices.  The EZ choice is to just use Propane in my portable propane Coleman Grill or a little less EZ Charcoal Briquets in my Cast Iron Lodge Logic Hibachi.  For this occassion though, I choose the toughest of the choices possible, I am going to cook my steak over an Open fire on the Camp Fire Ring with <strong>WOOD!</strong>
</p>
<p>
   Now, I am not suited to going out into the woods to collect a bunch of wood for this and split it anymore, so instead I go up to the office and get a pile of firewood for <strong>FREE</strong> sufficient to make a decent Bonfire, which will last for hours to do a lot of heating and cooking tasks.  Normally said pile of wood would cost you around $5, but I know the camp host and for odd shaped pieces he gives them away free.  My objective is not to make it huge however, just to make it right for cooking on.  This means first getting the fire lit and going, then letting it burn down until you have a pile of hot coals burning about the right temp to cook your steak how you like it.  I like mine "Pittsburgh Rare", which means burned on the outside and still Mooing on the inside.
</p>
<p>
   Prior to getting the fire going, I do a dry rub on the steak of a few spices I have in the larder, including Garlic Powder, Coriander and McCormick "Old Monterrey" spicing, and sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper and sea salt as well and let it sit and absorb them for an hour before cooking.  Once that is done and I have checked for new comments on the Diner, it's time to <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>MAKE A FIRE!</strong></span>
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://media.safebee.com/assets/images/2015/5/beach-bonfire.jpg" src="http://media.safebee.com/assets/images/2015/5/beach-bonfire.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" /> Now, on a lot of Prepper Websites they make a real big deal out of making a fire from primitive means, going down as far as spinning a fire drill between your hands.  I never mastered that one.  Then there are bow drills, fire pistons and flint and steel too!  Or if you have a sunny day you could use a Magnifying Glass.  There are any number of ways to make a fire.  I don't bog down in this sort of shit.  For my forseeable future, I will have the essentials of fire making available, a Bic Lighter and some Lighter Fluid, Kerosene or Gasoline.  Amazing how fast you can get a nice Bonfire going with a Bic & Kero! lol. "Tinder?  We don't <strong>NEED</strong> no fucking Tinder!" Try not to torch yourself or start a forest fire though when you do it.  Lighter Fluid is safer than Kero or Gas, it has a lower vapor pressure and doesn't light up as fast.  I will have upcoming <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"><strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] videos on making a fire and outdoor grilling.
</p>
<p>
   At the beginning of course when you light it up, this is a <strong>TOTALLY </strong>unsuitable fire for cooking, and grilling in paticular.  Way too hot at the grill surface, even for Pittsburgh Rare.  You gott wait until the fire burns down some and you get some coals for more even heat distribution.  Usually takes about a half hour if the wood is dry.  You feed in a little wood at a time until you have the heat hitting the grill around a temp you can't put your hand above it for more than a second or so, and this is about right for fast cooking Pittsburgh Rare.  If you like a more medium level and not so blackened on the outside, then either wait a bit or raise your grill surface higher above the the heat.
</p>
<p>
   Once you have your cooking heat adjusted, the next issue is the cooking surface.  Do <strong>NOT</strong> use the grate provided in a public camground as your cooking surface, and not because it might have Germs on it.  Those have all been sterilized by heat, in fact not just sterilized but incinerated.  It's because these grates are just grossly too large, and stuff will fall into the fire below, even big ass hamburgers you patty up.  If you work with a big enough steak you are pretty safe, but even here I prefer to use an add on like a BBQ basket for the steak.  Makes it simple to flip, and EZ cleanup too.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="https://jehingr.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/campfire-hot-dog.jpg" class="shrinkToFit" src="https://jehingr.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/campfire-hot-dog.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 150px; float: right;" /> For open fire grilling in other forms of meat, you don't need to use a grill at all, sometimes big Forks or Spears work better.  Hot dogs are done easily on a spear, Bratwurst or Italian Sausage also.  You can buy commercial industrially produced ones, or just make one out of a skinny tree branch.
</p>
<p>
   All the rest of open fire cooking besides meat should be done with some surface between the food to be cooked and the fire below.  I will go over that in a future post or video on outdoor cooking, along with demonstrating the techniques on the <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"><strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] videos that I publish in the middle of the week to supplement this series.
</p>
<p>
   Once your cooking and eating tasks are done for the day and you are esconced at a nice campsite, there's not a whole lot to worry about.  You're in a <strong>FOR PAY</strong> site and have the <strong>RIGHT</strong> to be there (paid to Da Goobermint), which the little ticket you post in your windshield says.  The local Gestapo do <strong>NOT</strong> patrol these places.  Actually even the camp host (old retired guys who stay all summer for free and collect parking fees) doesn't patrol them at night, so if you drive in after midnight and leave by around 6AM, you can park it for free.  I do this on the up and up though and pay my $15 when I stay overnight.  Once you start paying, this is not true Boondocking of course, but it is Semi-Boondocking as long as the cost for the nightly fee is less than what you would pay to rent a monthly apartment space in the neighborhood.  So if rents in the area are going for say $900/mo, that is $30/day.  If you can buy a campsite for $15/day, you are 50% Boondocking.  If you only take such For Pay site every other night, then you are up to 75% Boondocking.  For myself going out OTR. I would probably be in the 50% range for Boondocking most of the time. 4 nights in <strong>FREE</strong> spots, 2 nights in For Pay campsites and 1 night in a Bates Motel room to charge up all my batts and do my laundry, etc.  Assuming the campsites come in at $15/night and the Bates Motel room comes in at $60/night these days, that is $90/week or around $360/mo, approximately half my current rent.  If the budget demanded it, I could cut the Bates Motel room to once every second week.  There is a lot of flexibility here with this style of living.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/TruckerTim0095-sleeper-sleep.jpg" src="http://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/TruckerTim0095-sleeper-sleep.jpg" style="height: 266px; width: 400px; float: left;" /> Rent is the <strong>NUMERO UNO</strong> fixed cost for the Min Wage Worker or an old guy living on Social Security. At Min Wage, Rent in most places is at least 50% of your fixed costs for living. If you can cut your rent down to 1/2 or 1/4 what it costs for a "normal" living arrangement, you can start to save some money.  The main reason I saved money during my trucking years OTR was not because I made so much money, although the income was pretty good prior to 9-11.  The reason was because I had no<strong> RENT!</strong>  I wasn't paying money to some Scumbag Rentier who owned properties he was renting out to poor people.  I lived basically free in my Freightliner.  Because that was a Bizness, all the fuel was tax deductible too!  In a Van or other rig arrangement not done as a bizness that is not true, but really your fuel costs are not that much right now to do it, maybe $4/day is my estimate, I'll see at the end of the week how much I spent on fuel.  Looks like around $30 right now. If/when the fuel costs go up, this price won't be accurate.  If/when the fuel becomes unavailable, the lifestyle won't be possible at all.  But that is not true <strong>RIGHT NOW</strong>.  So for today, I go OTR one more day, and enjoy a little bit of nature before it is gone at the End of the Age of Oil.
</p>
<p>
   See you next week for Part 4 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, and <strong>WATCH YOUR MIRRORS!</strong></p>


Sounds like great fun is in store, road tripping around the US! I am surprised at the concern and complexity and supplies required for heating though, if the plan is to follow the seasons, there really shouldn't be any time where it gets too cold, other than emergencies. Caught in a spring snow storm or some such? And even then, that might not be a cold issue, just a mobility issue depending on how well a RWD van goes in the snow (assuming that chains aren't part of the emergency supplies?). My perspective of this comes from backpacking, and in terms of travel no other form makes you quite so sensitive to size and weight of supplies. A van sounds fantastic in terms of the size, scale and variety that can be brought along on a trip, heating and cooling devices, secondary transportation, the ability to set up a near temporary home similar in size to an efficiency apartment in some metropolitan area, the works! 

As you have mentioned, there are other ways of doing the same type of traveling, and even extending travel to more back country areas, a wonderful way to get clear of spots where normal RVers and your van can go. Cost more, ready made, but far more capable of getting to those places others can't.



 

Offline RE

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Re: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3
« Reply #359 on: July 30, 2017, 04:29:31 PM »
Sounds like great fun is in store, road tripping around the US! I am surprised at the concern and complexity and supplies required for heating though, if the plan is to follow the seasons, there really shouldn't be any time where it gets too cold, other than emergencies. Caught in a spring snow storm or some such? And even then, that might not be a cold issue, just a mobility issue depending on how well a RWD van goes in the snow (assuming that chains aren't part of the emergency supplies?). My perspective of this comes from backpacking, and in terms of travel no other form makes you quite so sensitive to size and weight of supplies. A van sounds fantastic in terms of the size, scale and variety that can be brought along on a trip, heating and cooling devices, secondary transportation, the ability to set up a near temporary home similar in size to an efficiency apartment in some metropolitan area, the works! 

As you have mentioned, there are other ways of doing the same type of traveling, and even extending travel to more back country areas, a wonderful way to get clear of spots where normal RVers and your van can go. Cost more, ready made, but far more capable of getting to those places others can't.

If I follow the Snowbird Plan, I should never run into snow at all, so 2WD is not a problem.  Ideally, I would have liked a 4WD but full size vans haven't been produced in any quantity over the years in 4WD.  There are a few out there, but not many.

In a smaller Van size, VW makes a 4WD van that is popular amongst the off road crowd.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ugzq2dRie5M" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ugzq2dRie5M</a>

However, I have no plans to be going that far off road.  About as far off road as I get are the dirt roads that are cut through the various campgrounds or the gravel of the Public Access areas.

So I shouldn't have any problems with 2WD for my application, although I prefer 4WD vehicles.  Both my other vehicles currently working up here are 4WD.  If I was younger and in better shape, I would have looked around to find the VW 4WD Van, but it would have been more expensive even if I could find one.

All the Heating stuff I am doing more comes from my experience with losing my heat last winter and being prepped for that type of eventuality.  Again, facing down extreme cold is not something I hope ever to have to do in SaVANnah.  Under normal circumstances if I am in Alaska for the winter, I would just rent an off-season cabin.  Still, it is good to know how to do it because even down in Florida and Texas you can get sub-freezing temps in the winter when an Arctic blast moves on down.

Actually, the Cooling problem is more difficult to solve in hotter climates, at least if you don't have grid power to plug into.  If you have that, you just run a small portable air conditioner, the 8000 BTU size will turn your living box into a refrigerator.  Inside a Van, you're only talking about 15'X6'X5' for the cube for 450 cu ft.  These units will cool a small bedroom that is 10'X 12'x 8' for 960 cu ft.

If you don't have access to grid power, it gets tougher.  If nighttime ambient temps don't fall down into the 70s at least, I just can't sleep.  So I would always try to stay in a neighborhood where at least at night the temps go down to this range.  If they get hotter than that in the midday sun, this is not an issue, you spend that part of the day in some nice air conditioned location like the Library or the Wi-Fi Coffee Shop.

Traveling the lower 48, I would have along the portable A/C just in case, and on a particularly hot night I would buy a For Pay campsite that provides the JUICE to run it.  In my travels though I would attempt to avoid this scenario as much as possible.  I would only travel as far south as the Florida Keys or Baja California in the deepest part of winter, around January or so.  Then gradually move north again hitting Seattle around April sometime.  Then it's another 2 week trip across the Al-Can to make it back to the Last Great Frontier for the season of comfort here, May-Sep.  I'm a Migrating Bird, following the Path of the SUN☼

As long as BAU holds up, as long as GAS is available at the pump and as long as my health doesn't deteriorate more than it has, this is all quite doable.  3 BIG "ifs" there of course. lol.  Is it "sustainable living"?  No, of course it is not.  However, for the person TODAY who is living on a low income such as Min Wage Gig Economy jobs or Social Security, it's a great way to live, hang out in nice surroundings like National Parks and put out of your mind that all this is going away.  Enjoy it while it is still here.


RE
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