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SMART STUFF | ARCHIVE | OUTDOORS |..1..2..3..4..5.....>.......................USEFUL TIPS AND TRICKS

Welcome to the Smart Stuff outdoor and outdoor living section with some of the world's smartest gadgets, inventions and ideas for getting the most from your time in the great outdoors. Also browse the useful tips and tricks page for some clever and useful ideas.



Making a drink can into a solar fire starter
All systems go...
We still have not found any tinder (it does not seem to be tinder season or something) but we are determined to carry on with the experiment anyway. We will not find another weekend this suitable until next year. Now we are just hoping for clear skies and sunshine... What are we going to do? We are going to try to make fire with the aid of a piece of chocolate and a soda can (check out our previous post below). According to Trackertrail this should be possible. We will se if we can replicate their experiment. Check back for an update in the matter after the weekend!

28 April 2005



Make fire with some chocolate and an old soda can

Soda can firestarter.
This is a pretty amazing discovery. And one that can save your behind if you find yourself lost in the woods. You are going to get a crash course in one of the foremost topic in survival: how to make fire. The idea is to polish the bottom of the soda can with the chocolate until it is shiny bright. Chocolate, apparently, is a light abrasive. When done, the bottom of your average soda can has a perfect concave shape to concentrate the sun's rays unto something flammable, like tinder fungus. You can read all about it on Trackertrail. We have got to try this. Trackertrail used a Coke can and a piece of Toblerone. We are going to test the life saving potential in some home grown products; a Ramlösa can and a piece of Marabou. Check back soon... Via Boing Boing and Make: Magazine.

25 April 2005




Smartwool's merino wool socks
Walk further in merino wool socks.
We suppose these socks are made for the sportier among us. The people that spend their off hours hiking in the mountains or distance skating. But that does not mean these socks are not very comfortable for the rest of us, too. We use the thin inner sock like an ordinary sock in regular shoes. They are knitted to be comfortable and provide support for your feet and ankles. They are cool in hot weather and warm when it is cold outside. Combine the thin inner sock with one of the heavier socks for hiking in boots, etc. They are not exactly cheap at SEK 120:- (USD 15:-) a pair at the Playground store in Stockholm, but my happy walking feet are worth every penny. From Smartwool.

11 February 2005




Perforated skillet for grilling the small stuff
Perforated skillet to grill the small stuff.
This skillet came into the home at about the same time as the mitts below; just as the BBQ season was starting last spring, and it has been a valued addition to the outdoor kitchen ever since. We use the perforated skillet to cook shrimp, cut veggies and grill small food that is virtually impossible to cook on the BBQ otherwise since they have an irritating habit of slipping through the grid and ending up in the coals. We got the pan from Bed Bath & Beyond in L.A. last spring, but we saw some like it for sale in this country, too. If they sold, we do not know, but they should have. If you can't find any, there's a similar pan on Amazon for USD 16:-. We are looking forward to getting ours out again this spring.

2 February 2005


Coolskin knitted Nomex oven gloves
Are these the best oven gloves so far?
They may not look much to the world, but we are willing to bet a buck or two that they are the best oven mitts in the world. Why? Well, first of all they are knitted from Nomex®, which is a fiber developed by DuPont to be heat- and fire resistant. Nomex® is used, among other applications, in protective clothing for firemen and race car drivers. The mitts are made with a double shell, the inner for fit and the outer to take the brunt of the heat. They will protect your hands up to +350°C (640°F) dry heat, but they can not protect against hot fluids or steam. Hot water, for instance, will seep right through the rather loose knit. We have had these since this spring, and they have been tested both in the kitchen and at the BBQ. They outperform anything we ever have had before in the way of oven mitts, etc, and the only drawback is that they get quite dirty after a while. But they can be washed without losing their heat protection. From Coolskin.

1 February 2005



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