Sunday, March 23, 2014

Power Free Cooking

I had recently heard about something called The Wonder Bag.

I was reading a blog by someone who was boon docking in
Denali National Park…  She went out for the day and when
she arrived back to her camper - a warm pot of stew was waiting..

All without an inverter or stove running while she was gone.

I became intrigued, did some research on The Wonder Bag and learned
that it was developed by someone in South Africa as a way for people
living in areas where power is at a premium to save fuel while cooking.

Basically you can use it for any recipe that you would use a crock pot.

It works like this…

Prepare your recipe on the stove…
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or so to heat the contents.

Transfer the covered pot to the Wonder Bag.

Pull the draw string to draw the sides of the bag up…
Place the top cover inside the bag

Pull the drawstrings the rest of the way to seal up the bag.

That's it!

Come back in 4, 5, 6 hrs…

Whenever your are ready…   dinner is served!

The heat is retained inside and the food uses it's own heat to cook.

So simple.  I love it.  It works great.

For my RV or sailboating friends where power is sometimes at a premium,
this is a great way to make a no fuss meal with very little power usage.

Instead of simmering on the stove for hours and using all that propane and generating heat,
or running an inverter to power a crockpot…

Over 650,000 have been distributed in third world countries and
in refugee camps where fuel is scarce and hard to obtain.

So simple...
This thing is a winner.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Recently I've received a few emails from friends wondering where we were…  
"we haven't seen a blog from you in a while"

Well we are fine.   We're home.
After leaving Wallyworld we did a quick two day trip and
arrived home around the end of February.

Since then its been rainy, and cool.  There has been about 3 days of sunshine
and thankfully today is beautiful…  70's and sunny.

Since we got home I've been involved in preparing for our upcoming trip
to Alaska.   There has been the night trip planning.  Finalizing the details.
That is 99% done now so we are ready to go in that respect.

I had to do some routine maintenance on the truck and while I was at it I made a
couple of upgrades to account for now having the dog house on it at times.

In order to pull a trailer when we have the dog house on the truck we needed to
work out some sort of extension, as the DH overhangs the back of the truck so
a normal hitch would now no longer work.

There are several ways to approach the problem and as always I chose the more
difficult but in my opinion the safer and stronger way.

First I had to remove the OEM hitch that the truck came with.
It was a class V and rated to 12,000 lbs but not up to what I wanted to do.

The old hitch after removal…  now for sale on Craigslist

I installed a new Torklift Super hitch.
Here is a stock photo of one

Notice it has two receiver holes…  that is important.
It is a much more robust hitch, and it rated to 17,000 lbs.

Once the hitch was on I assembled what is known as a Supertruss.

Here is what that looks like

Notice the two tubes… ?   they go into the two holes on the hitch.

You install and remove the super truss from the hitch as needed.
It slides in like a regular ball and gets pinned in place.

The completed assembly would look like this.

So, when installed and no dog house on the truck, the truss would stick out 32"

Here it is installed on the truck without the dog house loaded.
You insert the hitch ball into the end and you are ready to go.

Here is the final product.

Now we can tow the boat to all those great places…
Lake Powell,
The Columbia River.
The possibilities are endless...

We've decided to move our wine collection to a storage facility
in Denver (Frank I'll be calling)
I have about 360 bottles to move so we will rent a Uhaul trailer and
head West in a few weeks with that load.

That was another reason for getting the towing situation worked out now.

What to do with the wine when the house sells has been hanging over my head.
Getting most of it out of here and into another safe temp/humidity controlled
facility will take that one big thing off of my plate.
Plus it will be closer to stop in when traveling out west for a replenish.

Then we'll meet the gang in Walla Walla Washington for the annual
Spring Wine Tasting   Link Here

Then off to West Glacier for the rendezvous  and across the border
and North to Alaska.

It's going to be a hell of a year!