3 Quick Tips For Storing 550 Paracord (video)

Have you ever failed to properly wind your cordage when done? I have. It can turn into a jumbled mess! And  regret it every time. In this video JJ shows how to wind paracord so that it easily dispenses when needed, how to daisy-chain it together for easier storage (or maybe just to look cool), and how to hang paracord in the woods around a tree so it doesn’t get lost…

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. 😉

30 Uses For Wood Ash You Never Thought Of (link)

Image Credit
Image Credit

I just watched this video on what to do with hot wood ash and, though good recommendations, the video only touched on two possible uses. I knew there were plenty more and so did a brief search and found this post on 30 uses for wood ash you never though of and figured it was an appropriate article to share assuming you’re heating with wood this winter.

I do find it interesting that wood ash can be used in many ways as a cleaner seeing as though most people (me included) tend to consider ash dirty! It’s so amazing that nature provides for us if we only bother to pay attention. 🙂 Besides as a cleaner, ash can be used to ward off animals and insects, in the garden, as a water filter, and so much more.

Here’s a bit of the article, please click the link below to read the full article:

“1. Make lye water out of ash. You can boil 2-3 spoons of ash (clean white/grey fluffy ash) with water and then filter it with a coffee filter. Lye water is a great cleaning agent and sanitizer for clothes, floors, windows, silverware, plates, and even rust in marble. You can also make lye by adding the fluffy white ash in a cheesecloth.

2. A paste made out of ash and water, can remove stains from furniture.

3. If we want to remove a stain from clothes the moment they happen, we add a bit of ash and after about five minutes, we rub it with the crumb of a bread (not the crust, the soft white bit).

4. Ash is a great odour repellent, just add a bit over the area that smells. eg, kitty litter.”

Read the full article here