Most of the time these days, I am using a double boiler to cook my pancakes as 3 larger cakes instead of 12 or so normal sized pancakes. As of this writing, I have not yet mastered "The Pancake" over open flame: cooked the normal way, they stuck like you wouldn't believe, so I started using exorbitant amounts of oil to combat this, and even then, they were difficult to flip. To avoid hassle, I tried cooking them as 1 or 2 large cakes, but cooking directly on the flame scorched the bottoms before the batter had a chance to thoroughly cook.
Another early morning found us with only an abundance of mosquito bites to complain about. Well, that and what we had come to refer to as our morning hill which really wasn't all that bad, but it certainly was a jump start to the day. We didn't want to stick around Jim's farm too long since we really weren't supposed to be there so we packed up and left looking to find a spot close by to park and cook breakfast.
The BioLite camp stove is probably one of my favorite pieces of gear that we have. I like food, and I love cooking and not just cooking but really delving into flavor and texture combinations. Without a stove, this would still be possible but just very different. We decided to go with a wood burning stove, even though it is heavier and more cumbersome than some of its gas fueled counterparts because in the long run, cost efficiency is necessary for us, and wood is generally everywhere and free. It does present a number of challenges like how to perk a pot of coffee when it's raining, if you didn't collect wood before it rained-how do you work with wet wood, and, one we've not yet encountered: how to cook when no open fires are permitted. Originally, we planned to obtain a small gas burner as a backup which would solve essentially all of these problems. This plan is still in place, however, on the backburner (haha) at the moment.
The campstove is 2 parts: a double-walled aluminum cylinder, which I also refer to as a canister, with some holes spaced along the inner layer and a battery pack. The yellow battery also houses a fan and has a copper rod coming out of it which fits into a hole in the aluminum component and is held in place by one of the three folding legs which are on the bottom of the cylinder. Once you've got a bit of a fire started, you turn on the fan which feeds the flame the necessary oxygen in a vortex pattern through the holes in the inner wall of the cylinder, the flame gets bigger as you add more fuel which heats the copper rod which transfers that heat to a thermoelectric generator where it is converted into electricity to charge the battery and power the fan...which is feeding the flame...that is powering the battery. So you can see by now how this is a brilliant piece of technology. But wait! There's more!
We awoke early after our second night at Brown County State Park's Horseman's camp partly so we could pack up and get out without being seen, but also so we could make it to Nashville for lunch with Jenny's stepfather John. The morning was largely uneventful, we stopped off at a gas station on the way to Nashville to refill our water bottles, picked up a few provisions at a local IGA grocery store and headed on to Nashville.
Nashville, IN is a small town built at the foot of some rather large hills. Our plan was to meet John somewhere, unload the equipment from our bikes into John's car for safekeeping then lock up the bikes and have lunch. Our arrival into Nashville was a little unnerving, it was Saturday so the whole town was out and we rode through the main market area where it seemed as though everyone was watching us ride by. Apparently two cyclists loaded with 90lbs of gear isn't a common sight in this small town.
The first time someone was bold enough to ask us how we "go" was in Homer, IL. We were camping in Sharon's back yard, and it was Crystal, her neighbor, who had asked. The reply was, "Well, if it's alright with you guys, we're used to digging our own holes. We thought we'd just go back here up against the corn." Sharon & Crystal's properties bordered a large corn field. They were just curious, and it was a natural curiosity, and I think ultimately, they wanted to make sure we had a "going" situation we were comfortable with.
For the most part we maintain our water supply by filling up from tap water available at gas stations, grocery stores and, if need be, asking home owners, but when the availability of tap water becomes more sparse we have a two stage water filtration system that can be used to filter water from creeks, rivers or ponds.
The first stage in our filtration system is the LifeStraw Family 1.0 water filter. This filter boasts a 0.02 micron filter allowing it to filter out over 99% of bacteria, protozoa and viruses. The manufacturer claims this filter will last for 18,000 liters of water giving it a very low costs per liter and, particularly for just the two of us, a long lifespan.
My primary computing device is an old MicroCenter WinBook TW800 tablet. Paired with the tablet we have a four port USB hub, a wireless keyboard and mouse paired with the same Logitech unifying receiver and two USB flash drives one of which has Ubuntu installed which is my primary operating system.
This tablet doesn't require a whole lot of juice when compared to a laptop and it's charged through USB which makes it a good fit with our portable solar chargers and battery packs. Usually I'll power the tablet with a 20,000mAh power bank then charge the power bank from one of our solar chargers as needed and available. If conditions provide I'll charge the tablet from the power bank and the power bank from the solar charger while using the tablet. In good sunlight the solar charger should provide more power to the power bank than the power bank is providing to the tablet.