Thursday, August 12, 2021

Geocaching in Chicago

I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago to visit family.   While I was there we took the opportunity to grab some geocaches.   This find was number 3900 for me!

How cute is this little frog geocache container?  He was sitting under a tree at a library...




3 generations caching together.  That's one of the things I love about geocaching.  The wide variety of caches, terrains and levels of difficulty make it a game that all ages can enjoy.


Please excuse my butt....  


My daughter finally made the find on this cache....


This is the top of the cache container which was well hidden in a pine tree at a park.  I already unscrewed the bottom of it so I could sign the log sheet....


I love the mini libraries that are springing up all over the country.  Do you have any in your neighborhood?


Many of them have dual purposes - not only do they hold books for people to exchange, but they also double as geocache hides...











Each mini library is different and unique.  I have a strong feeling that a mini library/geocache may be in my future.   I'm going to see if I can mange to build one myself.


Check out geocaching if you have the time.  It's a fun game and it's a great way to get outside.  Here's a link to my blog page explaining more about it.

Geocaching Handbook:  Click here to check it out.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geocaching:  Click here to look at this one.
Looking for a handheld GPS Unit for geocaching?    I have the Oregon 450 which I don't believe is available any longer.  Garmin has an updated version.  I haven't personally used one yet, but many people love this one.   It's the Oregon 700

Friday, July 30, 2021

Hand made Tote Bags

I've been busy making tote bags for both adults and children.  These adorable tote bags are handcrafted in my smoke free home. I use recycled denim, fabric and tee shirts to create unique, one of a kind bags. 

The adult totes are perfect for a wide variety of uses - carry books, supplies, groceries, swim suits, camping....... the possibilities are endless.

Measurements for the adult totes are approximately:
14” high x 13” wide
28" straps








The children's totes are perfect for carrying books, toys, snacks, or whatever your little one holds dear and wants to take along to Grandma’s house, to school or on a trip.

Measurements for the children's totes are approximately:
10” x 9”





See something you like?  Click on the tote name and it will take you directly to my ETSY shop where you can easily purchase one.  Since all totes are one of a kind, you will receive the exact tote bag pictured here. No lining, they are re-usable and washable.

Looking for something custom made that's more specific? Message me with ideas and I’ll see if I can find a fabric to suit your taste.

Monday, July 26, 2021

What's in my Backpack?

 I usually keep my backpack loaded up and ready to go either hiking or geocaching.  It makes it a lot easier to pick up and go at a moments notice.  All I usually have to add is a couple water bottles and something to eat.  Let's take a look at what I have....

My backpack is a SwissGear brand.  It's nothing fancy and it's not made for heavy duty backpacking because it's on the smaller size.   I'd call it more of a "day" pack.  Clipped to it is my Traveling Snoopy.  He goes everywhere with me and I usually like to take photos with him.


One of my favorite items and a necessity in my book, is my Jackery External Battery Charger.   I make sure it's fully charged before I go anywhere and it comes in very handy in case my GPS or my cell phone go dead.  I also have a Garmin GPS.  I mostly use this to mark the trailhead or where I parked my car.   It's a nice piece of equipment to have along in case you get confused in the woods and need to find your way back to your car.  

I always keep a small notebook and pen with me.  You never know when you might need it.


I love this Streamlight ProTac 1L flashlight!  It's 3 1/2" long so it doesn't take up much room but it packs a solid punch in terms of providing light.  It's super powerful and mine came with a little carrying case.


Next is my Go-Bag which says Geo Tools.   I use alot of this stuff when geocaching, but it's all things that come in handy anytime you're out on the trail.  It's just a heavy duty pencil case.
It contains a spare pair of reading glasses, a compass, a Coleman emergency poncho and a reflecting emergency blanket....


I'm extremely allergic to any type of sting, so I carry an Epi and Benadryl with me everywhere I go.  I also have an emergency whistle, a small mirror to use for signaling, a pill container filled with fire starter (cotton balls dipped in Vaseline) and a lighter.  The whistle has come in handy more than once - one time we were geocaching in the woods with my parents and we got separated.  We eventually found each other by using our whistles.


Also in this bag I have a sharp knife, a flint for fire starting and a survival knife....


I'm a huge fan of Ebags and this one is filled with toiletries...


Suntan lotion and bug spray....


Hand sanitizer, aspirin, Neosporin, lip balm and band aids...


My Go-Girl, toilet paper, and wet wipes....


My other Ebag contains clothing items...


A windbreaker with a hood, spray mace, and a couple carabiners..

 A  skull cap, a buff, a pair of work gloves and a bandana.  That bandana has come in handy more times - I particularly like it on a hot day because I wet it down and tie it around my neck....

I'm a fan of Lightload towels.   These things are great because they come in super small packages and take up next to no room.  The larger one can be used as a bath towel and the smaller ones are great for just about anything...


And last, but not least is my survival bracelet.  In an emergency I can untie it and have about 15 feet of paracord.


So that's my basic backpack and what works for me.  You may decide not to take some of the items and you may have others that you need.  A backpack is kind of person specific.  All loaded up, mine usually weighs between 10-15 pounds.  I've heard that the general guideline for backpack weight should be between 10-15% of your body weight.  I weight 108, so I'm within the guidelines and I've found this is a good weight for me to carry.   I grab my hiking sticks and I'm good to go.  Happy trails!!

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Product Review VacLife Air Pump Tire Inflator

I don't know about you, but when I'm on the road I worry about my tires going flat.  I recently purchased A VacLife Air Pump and it has already come in handy.  The VacLife Tire Inflator is perfect for both for Home (110V) and Car (12V).  It comes with an AC/DC Portable Air Compressor for Car Tires, Bicycles and Other Inflatables, a Digital Air Pump with LED Light, & Long Power Cords (VL708).


To begin, it's small, compact and lightweight.   It barely takes up any room at all but it packs a powerful punch.  This is everything you get, right out of the box...

The compressor itself...


Power cord for in-home use....

Power cord for on the road car use.....

Attachments for inflating balls, inflatable kayaks, air cushions and swimming pool items....


It also comes with a powerful LED flashlight...



It's extremely easy to operate.  Hook the clamp onto your tire and turn ON your car if using the 12v cigarette lighter plugs.   OR you can use your home 110v socket.    The DC and AC power cords of the portable air compressor are 9.2 ft and 5.2 ft.  
 



Input the desired target tire pressure for your vehicle.  In my case its 36...


Turn your VacLife on and it literally took less than a minute to inflate my tire to the proper pressure...


I like the digital readout so I can see the pressure going up.  The machine shuts off automatically when it reaches the target pressure....

This tire pump is suitable for cars and medium SUVs with tire width less than 245mm and bicycles with Schrader Valve. Any truck tires are not applicable.  I have a Dodge Durango and it worked perfectly!  Once I was finished I boxed it back up and put it in my trunk.  It gives me great peace of mind to have it with me.  You just never know when you'll need it.  It's a small price to pay if you've got a low tire and you're in the middle of nowhere.


Purchase one for yourself here.

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