Sunday, March 23, 2014

Old Fire

In order to take a step back from the daily task of life I decided to fine tune my get home bag; thought I'd beat the mosquitoes and gnats and take advantage of our beautiful weather...two out of three isn't bad. Ever had a gnat build a nest inside your nose...

Anyhow...last week I found a stash of Vietnam era Hexamine fuel tabs, several bundles of the tubes to be exact, and a few Trioxane tabs. The Trioxane I'd dumped in a closet after a long ago camp trip and had flat forgotten the bag of hot stuff. Both these fuel tabs work well with the little stamped tin Esbit stoves.

Esbit stove, Germany.
I'd hate to depend on fuel tabs and Esbit stoves for all my on the road meals, but hey, it beats cold MRE's and coffee. The wee tabs will heat a cup of water for a nice mug of tea or hot chocolate. I've owned several Esbit stoves in my life. Most I lose. One I left on the banks of river when I packed in a hurry during a bad flood. They're cheap, buy two. In my humble opinion they fall under the category of a back-up to your main heat source.

A very old tube of Hexamine fuel tabs. 

Ragnar Benson had some very useful purposes for Hexamine tabs. The government ceased production probably for that very reason. I'll let you do the homework. I only have a few left, so no, I will not share.

Trioxane, package of, hot stuff.
Both fuel tabs burn clean and will burn the dickens out of your fingers if you hold the tab when you  set a match to it...light the fuel tablets on the ground or stove. I've even used my boot heel to slap out a slight trench and placed the tabs inside with cup atop.

Esbit stoves are sold on Ebay and arrive with a package of German brand fuel tabs, cheap.

Check those get home bags...if you lack an Esbit and fuel tabs they make a great addition and take very little space. The little Esbit is made of stamped metal and weights next to nothing. Just picture a cold wet night as you hunker down under the tarp...all those zombie democritters hot on your trail and the comfort a single fuel tab will provide.

Don't say I didn't warn you.



The thing is I need to climb into my handyman overalls, drive to Home Depot or Lowe's, and ask silly questions about parts I'm certain haven't seen dust on a shelf in years. Then I'll do a return trip and cuss and throw tools and after long consultation with the wife call a darn professional plumber. That's the crux of it. Yet, I shall try. Frugal is my middle name. But please allow me to yell this fact loud and clear....I hate home plumbing projects. I've yet to meet two pipes I've had the skill to wed without the joint ever so slowly bend in order to shed a tear of soft water.

The central single knob faucet of our tub shower combo leaks. Well, perhaps leaks is an understatement....the friggin sucker pours a stream of precious and very expensive water. We not only pay for the water but the disposal of water in the form of a city sewer tax based on usage. Liquid gold. And, I'm just stubborn enough to try and hunt down a repair kit and make an effort to replace those worn parts. If I screw the pooch the results could cost a thousand or so to repair. Three copper lines connect the back of this sucker. It's an older Delta.

Sweet Wife suggested we break the bank and purchase a newer model and then have the repair company install it. My manhood card took a hit....

We'll see. Hey, if you hear screams and a hard bump and several .45 shots from this'll know what just happened.