Bows And Arrows To Counter Bullet-Resistant Vests? (video)

I found this test of a compound bow and crossbow versus a “bulletproof” vest an interesting one and, sadly, not unexpected. Granted, there are many factors involved here but don’t expect to be walking home without a scratch if confronted with a similar scenario…

Can You Really Freeze Dry Food At Home Without A Machine? (link)

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I love freeze dried food. It’s nutritious, tasty, super lightweight… it just can’t be beat. But, it’s expensive to purchase in most cases and if you want to freeze dry at home, well, you’ll have to buy an expensive machine which is one big reason why I buy my freeze dried foods from commercial manufacturers.

Apparently, however, it’s possible to “freeze dry” food at home and without an expensive machine. To be honest, I am wondering if the method in the following article is a little suspect because freeze dried foods aren’t just frozen to really cold temperatures, they’re then placed in a vacuum and subject to low heat in order to induce sublimation, after which they undergo further drying to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

With that in mind, the two methods outlined in the following article don’t take the freeze-drying process quite that far but I do wonder if either method is more viable that dehydrating, or if they can be combined with dehydrating? There’s only one way to find out, guess I’ll have to give it a shot…

“Learning how to freeze dry food is something that’s gaining popularity.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because many preppers are now simply discovering the “long forgotten” art of freeze drying their foods at home.

In truth, freeze drying has been in constant commercial use for generations. Applying it in your home is quit easy, with or without a special machine.

When you freeze dry food, the water content and moisture are eliminated. It’s a lot like drying food on drying racks, but you’re also adding the freezing process.

Freeze drying food is useful in situations like long camping trips, or long term food storage for an emergency or disaster…”

Read the full article here

Can You Really Boil Water in a Plastic Soda Bottle?

I had to burn some papers today and it dawned on me if I could actually boil water in a plastic soda bottle like I’d seen in various videos?

As luck would have it, I had an empty soda bottle and so I gave it a shot.

I strung up the bottle about two-thirds full of cold water like this with the cap removed:


I didn’t want to get the bottle too close to the fire (the fire was just getting going in the photo above) because I worried that the bottom of the bottle would melt. As it turns out, I should have got the bottle a lot closer.

Only several minutes in it was obvious that some bubbles were forming on the sides of the bottle which was encouraging:


I decided to pour out a little bit and test for hotness. It was slightly warm but nothing to get excited about. Several minutes later I noticed the neck of the bottle was beginning to deform quite a bit:


After a good thirty minutes hanging over a decent, albeit relatively small, fire I decided to call it quits because it was starting to sprinkle and I didn’t want to spend all day messing with this.

So, I checked the temperature with a candy thermometer and saw it reached about 135 degrees Fahrenheit (it shows a bit lower by the time I snapped the photo). I know it’s hard to see but the red bar reaches just above the difference between 100 and 150:


Though encouraging, this wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped for or expected. I’m afraid I would have to give this quite a long time over a good fire and maybe even to lower the soda bottle even closer to the fire.

The good news is that the bottom of the bottle was still well formed but the bottle overall was a bit deformed to say the least:


If this is something I had to rely upon to ensure my water was pasteurized I would have been hard-pressed to make it a reality. I’d say that if I really HAD to get it done I could have but to actually bring the water to a boil? Well, according to the following video it’s possible:

Which brings me back to the point where my design wasn’t going to work well at all… I should have actually placed the bottle on embers instead. Perhaps I’ll try that next time.

Of course, I wouldn’t absolutely need to boil the water; I’d simply need to get the water to reach a high enough temperature to kill pathogens and for long enough and that would have sufficed.

According to this reference I was close:

63ºC (145ºF) 30 minutes Vat Pasteurization
72ºC (161ºF) 15 seconds High temperature short time Pasteurization (HTST)
89ºC (191ºF) 1.0 second Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
90ºC (194ºF) 0.5 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
94ºC (201ºF) 0.1 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
96ºC (204ºF) 0.05 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
100ºC (212ºF) 0.01 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
138ºC (280ºF) 2.0 seconds Ultra Pasteurization (UP)

Another ten degrees and I was in business.

The moral of the story?

Watch somebody else do it first… then do what they did. 😉