Dayton woo!

I'm now in Dayton Ohio for Hamvention.

I'm running entirely on emergency power, field day style. I've got a full data setup with lots of bandwidth toward the internet. It's quite possibly the most hardcore setup here, and that's saying something. Me and , in a tent, in the middle of a field, with a laptop, EVDO data, weatherradio, two ham radios, a cache of nonperishable food and snacks, as well as drinks, all the way down to charging my cellphones and blackberry.
I'm living up all the creature comforts, save for a campfire. Here's to hoping I can figure that one out for saturday night.

12 thoughts on “Dayton woo!”

  1. Dayton? That's this weekend? Damn!

    Get me some prices on LMR-240, willya? I need about 200 feet of it. Call me. 810-599-3206 and let me know. If the price is right, I'll pay ya back.

    1. I didn't get out to looking at other vendor's stuff until today, and as you may or may not know about sundays, some vendors don't even show up, then it rained. Though I did fall in love with a few mobile units in the indoors area. mmm.

  2. If my personal life didn't go all pear-shaped in the past week, I'd be down there with you guys and the rest of the MI2600 crew. In that case you wouldn't have had to worry about the campfire. Give me a camp saw, a knife and a match (or in emergencies, my magnesium firestarter) and I will get a fire going for you, no matter what the weather.

    Since I won't be down there, here are some pointers:

    If you're limited on wood, wadded up dry newspaper makes excellent tinder (if it's damp, all it will do is smoke.)

    First, inspect the area in which you are planning on building the fire; remove all flammable objects (tents, piles of leaves, your wood pile, etc.) within a 15 foot area of the fire.

    Next, crumple up some newspaper and place it in the middle of the fire pit. Take three sticks about as big around as your finger and 12-18 inches long and lay them in a free-standing (i.e. not resting on the paper) tripod over the paper. Now start laying the smallest twigs you can find over the paper and around the tripod. Proceed to larger and larger twigs and stick until you get up to a size that is about the diameter of your thumb. What you should now have is a conical stack of wood that looks like a teepee. Remember to leave an "entrance" into the teepee large enough that you can get your hand and fingers in there with a lit match.

    We're not done yet. Next take larger branches about the diameter of your wrist and 24-36 inches long and lay them fairly close on either side of the teepee. stack two more branches at right angles to the first two (i.e. on the adjacent sides) and continue until you have built a small stockade around your teepee. At this point, the fire is ready to light. Break out your matches and go to work.

    If you've done everything right, the newspaper will catch quickly with a small flame that grows steadily larger as it catches larger and larger twigs and branches aflame. Eventually, the blazing teepee will collapse into one side of the stockade, catching it aflame as well.

    Once the fire is burning well, larger logs, may be placed to one side (not on top of!), the fire where they will catch and slowly burn into a bed of glowing coals.


      1. A 'firepit' is not nescesarily an actual pit. It is a an area free of combustable materials.

        Buy a small shovel from the local hardware store. Dig down two or three inches and carefully seperate the sod from the ground. Roll up the sod for later replacement. Do this for several feet in each direction surrounding the area which is to be your firepit.

        If you can find rocks about the size of bricks to surround the fire, use these to surround the fire. At all costs, AVOID RIVER OR LAKE ROCKS! These are usually water soaked and may well explode from internal pressure. Be careful that any brick/rocks/computer commponents you use are neight combustable nor water logged.

        A bare area around your fire should be sufficient for any fire control. Keep a water bucket nearby in case the fire gets out of control. While neither sanitary nor especially socially acceptable, pissing on fire is a valid way of keeping stray embers under control.

        When you are done with the fire, spread the ashes and pour water on it until it stops steaming. The ground underneath may be extrememly hot, so pour water on the enitre area until you reach out far enought that no steam rises up. Check to make sure that the fire is Cold Out. This means that you can place you hand on the area and not feel any heat. Any screaming/smell of bacon cooking is a bad sign; keep at the water pouring. Check in an outward pattern away from the fire to make sure the whole area is out cold.

        Replace the sod over the firepit area.

        1. it also requires that the campgrounds permit I start a fire of any sort in the overflow area, which they don't. We had a hobo campfire over the grill though.

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