Sunday, June 8, 2014


Another summer, same camping story.  Started the day today at 6 am to get ready to head to Chatfield to instruct a lifeguard renewal class. Nine hours later 14 guards were renewed for two more years.  That was a lot of guards, but it was fun.
Now I am in my tent, all set up and ready for the summer.  This year I am almost constantly training new lifeguards and swim instructors, so not many lifeguarding shifts this summer, but we need the new guards and instructors.
For dinner I had some green beans.  Instead of getting a big fire or a gas stove to boil water, I used for the first time the Biolite my mom got me for my birthday.  It works by taking the heat from the fire to generate electricity which drives a fan to make the fire hotter.  Took less than 10 minutes to boil a mostly full small pot of water.  Instead of using large wood you just burn small stuff.  All the wood I used to make dinner was tree bark I found on the ground as I was clearing a space for my tent.  I have a box I filled with wood I found on the ground that I am going to keep in my car so if it rains I still have dry wood, but every day for fuel I just need to go find fallen sticks and pinecones.
I lit the fire using a small piece of news paper I got from my sister, when she moved into her new apartment there were 4 news papers outside the door, and added a few piece of wood.  Once some of the wood got burning I turned on the fan (it has a battery to start up the fan before there is enough heat).  I put the pan on to start heating and after a few minutes there was a big poof and all of a sudden flames were shooting out as the wood all combusted at once.  Before the poof the fire was really smokey.  Once it fully lit and started burning there was absolutely no visible smoke.  Smoke is particulate and ash that did not fully burn, wasting fuel.  When there is no smoke then everything is burning completely, giving more heat release per gram.
As a result of the Biolite I can now cook in about 10 minutes what would normally take about 30-45 minutes.  Tomorrow is oatmeal!

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard

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