I ordered a copy of the POCKET REF 4th edition by Thomas J

Glover. The book truly is a small book. I decided that I needed to make a case for it to keep it nice as I intend to haul it around with me.

A sharp knife, some scrap leather and an hour, and I have a handy little reference that should stay nice for a long time and not need to be recharged!

In album POCKET REF Leather Cover

The finished book cover. I decided not to dye it black. It took me an hour to make, start to finish.

Flipping through my new favorite book! The case opens up so I can take the book out. Should keep the cover nicer, longer.

Well, the book fits, but I think I can do better than this.

The bits and pieces I need for making a cover for my Pocket Ref. A piece of leather out of a ‘scrap leather’ bag from a hobby store, a sharp knife, a cutting mat, Neatsfoot Oil and Dye.

The leather was an assortment grab bag. I was lucky I had a piece that was big enough I could make something work. There was another piece with a color I liked better, but I couldn’t get something I liked cut out of it.

Works this way…

And it works this way…

I used the cutting mat to mark the cut lines. Just slide it along on the edge. Visible marks on the suede side of the leather. I also oiled  the finished side at this point so the oil has a chance to soak in before I dye it.

Measure twice, cut once. Cut isn’t perfectly straight, but it’s good enough for me.

I cut a belt and a belt loop out of the short side fold overs.

The book just sits in this case for safe carrying.

Fold and mark the tie strap locations. The little triangle is from whatever this was to be originally. Alignment marks or something.

Some strips from trimming the edges to fit better are tied on the inside.

A tidy wrap for a tiny book.

I found a PowerPotV on ebay

Showed up on Friday. I played with it this weekend in the kitchen. So far I like it. 

Hard boiled eggs, instant oatmeal, tea – which stained the pot, but I am hoping this will stop the rivets in the bottom from corroding into my water.

It's not an UL item. It's big, 1.4 liters and heavy. 18oz is their claimed weight, but I suspect that it's a lot more than that with all the extra bits and bobs that it comes with. I'm going to sew up 2 different stuff sacks for it and weigh it after that.
One will be for the full kit, the other will be for the minimal kit, basically just the pot and charge cable.

I love the concept of solar, I just can't afford anything worthwhile. I also tend to hike in heavy woods so solar is minimally effective anyhow. 

I mentally 'weight-buy' this pot by no going with the large extra battery, solar, etc.

A friend has a biolight. This outputs twice the power at half the weight. Between the two of us, I think we now have some good kit for charging cameras and phones. I will let him carry the biolight…

I tested my new sleeping bag last night

It didn't get as cold as I was expecting, so I ended up being overly warm for most of the night. I tried the new down bag inside a synthetic bag inside a bivy sack arrangement all on a thermorest pad. About 10 lbs for the sleeping set. I'd dug a snow-cave topped with a SOL space blanket for about 2/3rds my length.

I was sweating for most of the night until the temps bottomed out at 11 degrees. I was chilled then, but a toss and a turn and I warmed back up and fell back asleep.  I think I would have been better served with just the 20 degree down bag.

Maybe I will try again next weekend.

In album 2014-02-02

Getting out in the morning. A bit challenging trying to keep the snow out of my bags. The grey blanket was just used as a ground sheet for that purpose.

Unfortunatly, it didn’t snow for real. Google did this to me. Taunting me.

Clothes where a lightweight packable down jacket over a poly longsleeve shirt. Insulated pants over longjohns & 2 sets of dry wool socks. I tried to keep the clothing minimal as the two bags and myself basically filled the Bivy bag, so I didn’t want to over-pack it and loose all my loft.

Getting in to the sleeping bag at night. Wiggle wiggle, scoot scoot, repeat.

Looking down from the deck at my snow-cave. I used a SOL space blanket as a top-sheet. About 5 minutes with a shovel to make this (Much of the snow was tossed off my deck and porch). I was planning on using a snowshow to make it, but I was there with a shovel, and it just worked.

Side view of my snow cave. About 2-3 feet tall, with maybe 6-8 inches of snow left in the ‘floor’. The top was done up with a space blanket to keep the wind from whistling over my tent.

Sleeping in my snowcave. Quite toasty and comfortable.

Just waking up. It’s a bit awkward trying to loosen up the hood. I’d pulled the stopper out when I just climbed in. Took a LONG time to get it back right in the dark.

Looking into the snow cave. It was a bit snug at the shoulders. I wiggled around a bit when i was settling in to try to smash the walls wider so there was more room for my sleeping bags to loft.