Grab Bag Post

It was a pleasant Spring Break with the kids, watching movies, a little hiking, and just spending time together.  I didn’t get any big projects done, but we did chip away at the on-going garden preparations.

Seedlings Status April 2

Seedlings Status April 2

The broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes we planted last week have started to sprout.  The peppers haven’t poked up yet though.  The celery is coming along well as you can see and the onions are growing towards the lights in the back of the box. Broccoli and cabbage are pretty cold hard, so they’re going into the ground by the end of April, a couple weeks before the last frost date.  Tomatoes can be transplanted immediately after last frost, but peppers and celery will have wait until June when they will be safe from frost.

I still have some work to do to get the bed ready.  I need to get the garden soil from last year’s container garden put in and possibly buy some more to get the bed filled to about three inches below the rim.  The rest of the bed will be filled with wood chip mulch to protect the seedlings and reduce watering.  That thick mulch layer will shield the soil from the sun and provide a source of organic material to break down and enrich the bed.

Another thing I’ve been doing to enrich the soil is adding coffee grounds.  I don’t have a compost pile, but you can add coffee grounds directly to the soil without composting!50rds of 30-06 for the next CMP shoot

Since I missed shooting in a competition last month, I wanted to be sure I was ready this month.  An hour was spent depriming and sizing brass one night.  Another night, I primed all the brass then started charging the gunpowder and seating bullets.  Mid way through, I found that I deformed some of the brass while trimming it by hand and it needed to be resized.  Ouch.  Looking at the resizing die, I realized I fix this if I took the depriming pin out and ran the now-primed brass back through.  It worked and I now have fifty rounds of 30-06 ready for my M1 Garand at the next local CMP match.

I’m a fan of Dave Canterbury and his approach to preparedness.  I especially appreciate his down to earth approach to things.  Now, I had been keeping my entire backpacking kit in my truck “just in case”, but it was too big and I thought I might have accumulated enough redundant items in my camp boxes that I could build a smaller kit that would fit in a small backpack I’m not using much these days.  Canterbury has several videos on his 10 C’s of survivability with the first five being the most important.  These are:

  1. Cutting Tool
  2. Covering Device
  3. Combustion Device
  4. Container
  5. Cordage

If you’re going to have repeats of any items, it should be these first five.  The remaining five are “nice to haves” and best suited to survival in the woods – Cotton bandana, compass, candeling device (light source), canvas needle, cargo tape (duct/duck/100mph tape).  Here’s my basic kit using the extras floating around my camp boxes:

Multi-tool, Knife, Cook Pot, Toiletries, Fire Kit, Space Blanket, Mirror

Multi-tool, Knife, Cook Pot, Toiletries, Fire Kit, Space Blanket, Mirror

Hammock, Cordage, GI Poncho, and Food

Hammock, Cordage, GI Poncho, and Food

  • Leatherman Multi-tool
  • Buck fixed blade knife
  • Small pot
  • Fire kit consisting of matches, ferro-rod with Gorilla tape handle, cotton pads with petroleum jelly
  • Space blanket
  • Toiletries – paper (can be used for fire) , wet wipes, lip balm (another possible fire fuel), tooth brushes
  • Folding mirror
  • Water purification tablets
  • Gorilla tape wrapped around card (yet another fire starter material)


  • Hammock (shelter)
  • Nylon cordage
  • GI Poncho (rain wear/shelter)
  • Training MRE (similar to but cheaper than a real MRE)

Not shown is a GI canteen or water and a canteen cup in the actual backpack, an Energizer headlamp that stays in the glove box of the truck, a small first aid kit, or the tools and jumper cables kept in the truck.  All of the 5 C’s are covered and most of the last five are included as well.  It’s probably not a full “72 hour kit”, but there’s enough here to keep me going for a day or two.

That’s enough for this week.  The weather is looking good for the weekend (32F nights), so maybe some cold weather camping is in order for next week’s post!