It's been pretty hot in Denver, it's been getting into the high 80s most days but at least it's in the 50s and 60s at night so it's good sleeping weather.
I've been doing odd jobs for the family and fixing things here and there, it seems like I'm at Home Depot every day, which is okay with me because I enjoy walking around in a hardware store.
The only other thing I've been doing is modifying my camping gear and getting it ready for my first mini vacation, whenever that might be. A lot of my time has been spent working on my Coleman ice chest and hopefully improving it. I set a goal to make it almost equal to a $300 Yeti ice chest and keep the cost under $75. So far it's doing okay, I've got the extra insulation in it, and I've put latches on the front, and right now I'm working on putting a tie down ring on it so I can lock it to the bed of the truck.
I haven't made up my mind what to do about a sleeping bag yet but I've slept outside enough to know that a sleeping bag is the last thing you want to cheapout on. On the other hand I have no intention of taking my mini vacations in bitter cold temperatures so I don't need a down bag, but the mountains do get pretty chilly at night so I need to be prepared for the mid-20s at times.
I know I want a rectangular bag and not a mummy bag, as I find them rather confining. And a rectangular bag can be unzipped and will lay flat like a comforter so I can keep it laying on my bed in the Arctic Fox all the time.
I haven't made up my mind what to get yet, but there's only one sleeping bag that's still made in America, and it's made in Grand Junction Colorado. Just something to keep in mind.
my daughter and her husband threw a Memorial Day party this afternoon. I took these pictures before most of the people showed up, There were expecting 35 or 40.
Something that most people would not even consider a piece of camping equipment is a computer, but to me I wouldn't leave home without it.
A while back I mentioned that the little 13 inch Sony laptop that I carry in the truck will no longer run a lot of modern software's. I think it's about eight years old or so, and I tried to install a software on it and it wouldn't even install so I figured that the little Sony had finally outlived its usefulness.
Since I like having a computer with me at all times, to work on the blog and my pictures, I was left with the decision of having to either take my big heavy 17 inch Asus laptop, whose battery lasts about an hour if I'm lucky. Or buy a new small lightweight laptop to replace the little Sony. This wasn't a complicated decision even for me...I needed a new laptop.
Even though there's a bunch of small laptops to choose from, due to my personal preferences and experiences, I was able to narrow it down pretty quick. I've had great luck with Asus computers, having owned three of their laptops, and the last desktop I built had a lot of Asus parts I put in it. So I knew what brand I was going to get.
The size was just as easy to figure out because it needed to be small, light, have a battery that lasted almost forever, and be able to recharge in the truck. Which my 17 inch Asus can't do. So I ended up with an Asus 13 inch Zenbook which has a lot of bells and whistles, and best of all a battery thats supposed to last for 12 hours.
I've now got almost all of the big things that I need to take a mini vacation. I think the only big thing left is a sleeping bag and everything else is just odds and ends. The surprising thing is with all the stuff I'm getting rid of while I'm here in Denver I'm actually going to have room in the Arctic Fox to put all of the camping gear that I'm rapidly accumulating.
having just come in from wintering in the desert I'm not used to crowds yet, so I took a couple pictures before it got busy and ran back into the Arctic Fox and hid under the bed.
now here's something you don't see every day. A genuine ATM machine laying in a dumpster. I wanted to take it out and put it in the Arctic Fox so I would always have some money available whenever I needed it but it was too heavy to move. too bad, I could've used an endless supply of cash.
For anyone out there wondering why
I haven't responded to your comments it's because of a glitch at my blog host that is preventing me from answering any comments. I have been assured this problem will be fixed while I'm still vertical. The latest addition to my mini vacation camping gear is a Mr. Heater, portable Buddy propane heater.
No matter where I'm at in the winter or the summer its often a little chilly at night and in the mornings when I wake up, and the Colorado mountains are especially prone to that so a heater of some kind is a necessity.
I looked at a lot of different ways of heating the tent and the Portable Buddy seems to offer everything I need at a very reasonable price. And the fact that it operates the same way that my Hearthrite propane heater that I use in the Arctic Fox operates was an important point for me. And since it only cost $70 I can also use it as a backup heater for the Arctic Fox if the need should arise.
As with all things there was a couple of hurdles to overcome with the little Buddy so it would fit my new lifestyle, but with a little research I think I was able to solve the problems that it had that I was the most worried about.
The cost of the 1 pound propane cylinders it uses is fairly high, especially if you might use a couple of them a day. So to get around that I bought a 10 foot propane hose that will allow me to hook the little Buddy up to a normal barbecue type propane tank which will last a very long time and are cheap to refill.
The other problem it has, and it's a biggie, is the factory limits the altitude at which the heater will operate to 7000 feet, which of course makes it utterly useless in the state of Colorado.
But a little research, and talking to some folks once I got back to Colorado showed that this problem can be overcome. First of all there are hunters and campers on the Internet saying that they've used the heater at much higher altitudes than that with no problem at all. And talking to some hunters in Colorado I was told about a little tweak that can be made to the heater that will enable it to operate above timberline safely and with no difficulty at all. So this, plus the fact that I never sleep with a heater on even in the Arctic Fox much less in a tent, makes me believe that I will be able to take the little Buddy up into the mountains and stay safe and warm while enjoying places that the Arctic Fox doesn't want to go.