How hard is it to make do with what you already have?Ã‚ To take advantages of resources readily available to you?
We burn fires in our fire pit quite a bit throughout the year, which means that I am always scouring the yard for firewood. I ran out last winter and started a search for someone who could delivery a decent amount at a reasonable price. Once I figured out how much a 1/4 or 1/2 cord of wood would cost, I started wondering if I could just get the wood myself out of our yard for the same price. The answer? Yeah, pretty much.
I went to the orange behemoth and bought a pole saw and their cheapest electric chainsaw for a total of around $80, which was about what the amount of wood I wanted would cost me.Ã‚ The chainsaw had excellent reviews online, and it lived up to expectations.Ã‚ It made quick work of even 1′ diameter logs.Ã‚ I went around the yard cutting down limbs that were damaged in storms, cutting up a couple of trees that had fallen in storms, and gathering all the branches that had fallen in recent months. Once I piled up the larger pieces, I had quite a bit, and I wasn’t even close to gathering all of the potential wood in our yard. Our yard is not very large at a little under an acre, so I was quite surprised at how much firewood was just sitting around on the ground or hanging dead off of trees.
There were even more small branches.Ã‚ A recent nasty thunderstorm with high winds had knocked down a small tree in our yard and a huge pine in a neighbor’s yard, which littered the ground with tons of branches.Ã‚ Add in the branches that had fallen off of the still living trees and we had a massive pile of branches sitting on our patio when they were all gathered together.Ã‚ One of these days, I’ll actually take the time to break the branches down into smaller, more fire pit friendly sizes.Ã‚ The picture to the left was only about half of the branches that we collected.
How about stuff to start a fire?Ã‚ If you are unlucky enough to have pine trees in your yard (I HATE southern pine trees), then you know that each tree drops approximately ten trillion pine cones on the ground every single day.Ã‚ Pine cones make great fire starters,Ã‚ so I gathered up a large bin of them, spread them out on the patio to dry in the sun, then put them back in the bin and covered it up to keep they dry and ready to use to start fires.Ã‚ By the time I use them up, I will have about a quadrillion more in the yard to pick up and dry out for next year.Ã‚ For trees that produces so many things I like and use (fatwood, pine cones, pine straw, pine bark, dimensional lumber, etc.), pine trees sure are a pain when they are on my property.
I swear I had a point to all this!Ã‚ Before you go and spend money on something, take a look at what you already have and see if you can make it work for you.Ã‚ Sure, I didn’t have a chainsaw or a pole saw before, but I needed them anyway to cut down trees and limbs that were threatening the house and couldn’t find anyone to borrow them from.Ã‚ As a bonus, I will probably never have to buy firewood.
I am not an economy doom and gloom kind of person, but I know that many people’s wallets are tight these days.Ã‚ My wife and I are putting most of our money back into my business, which means less money available for other things.Ã‚ Ã‚ Be creative and figure out ways to make do with what you have.Ã‚ Unless, of course, you are planning on buying something from me.Ã‚ Then please, spend away.
I spent some quality time with the gloriousness of the Fenix TK40 last night and wanted to show you folks what it can do.Ã‚ I think I might actually like it better than my Boxer HID, which is quite an amazing feat.Ã‚ Take a look:
I finally have Fenix lights in stock in the store!Ã‚ Wooo!Ã‚ Fenix is easily the best known of the premium Asian brands, and for good reason.Ã‚ Their lights are consistently high quality and at the forefront of current flashlight technology.Ã‚ Here is what I have in stock:
I know, I’m doing a pretty crappy job of writing non Going Gear posts.Ã‚ I have a lot of new brands and items these days, so I promise I’ll get back to some gear and skills info soon.
Anyway, I have another new flashlight brand in the store.Ã‚ This time it’s iTP Light, a relatively unknown company, but one that will definitley become more well known very soon.Ã‚ They make great flashlights with nice designs and the latest technology.Ã‚ Their prices are also very reasonable compared to other premium flashlight brands, which is a sweet bonus.
ITP Light describes their designs as “bullet shaped,” which gives them a different look compared to the average light out there.Ã‚ The nice part of those designs is that they are very comfortable to hold in the hand, regardless of how you hold them.
I don’t think I’ll have any trouble starting fires anytime soon.Ã‚ Not that I did before, but I am a total failure if I can’t get a fire going with all of this.
I got 500 lbs total, in 3″, 4″, 8″, and 12″ sticks.Ã‚ I thought the little sticks were pretty cool, since they are already the right size to stuff into PSKs and any other nook and cranny you can find.Ã‚ I even got some massive chunks of fatwood, just in case anyone wants to carve a bear out of fatwood, or whatever else people do with several pounds of a firestarter.
I know there have been a lot of “I have new stuff in the store” post lately, and I apologize for that.Ã‚ I have been very busy trying to make my store successful now that it is 100% my full time job.Ã‚ I am working on some more content type posts that I think will share some good information.Ã‚ That said, here is another “I have new stuff in the store” post.
Premium flashlights were the very first real reason I wanted to open up an e-commerce store several years ago.Ã‚ I tried opening Fenix as a vendor, but they would not let me do so without a fully functioning website, which was a problem since they were to be my first and premier brand.Ã‚ I got a new job, moved to a new house, and other factors in life combined to let my flashlight and e-commerce dreams be put on hold for a while.Ã‚ Several thousand firesteels later, I have a successful e-commerce site and the ability to pick up a few new brands a month.
The first premium flashlight brand I have in stock is Zebralight, a company known for very high quality headlamps with nice, compact designs.Ã‚ I have the following models in stock and ready to ship:
The site that greeted me upon opening the first box.
Howdy kiddos, what did you do yesterday? Anything fun? I got to cuss about starting my own business and being self employed.
I received a shipment of over 6,000 firesteels that had, well, not the most effective packaging I have ever seen. I cringed when I picked up two of the three 60 lb boxes, not just from the weight, but from the tinkling noises I heard inside. You see, thousands of firesteels are not supposed to make tinkling noises until after I remove them from their packaging. Every single bundle of 14 different sizes of the rods were busted open, save one, and, of course, that was the only one that was in a box by itself.
So, I got to spend several hours yesterday sorting the rods into their appropriate bins. My hands were stained black from the protective coating and I am pretty sure the nice jeans I was wearing are now work jeans.
Halfway through sorting the first box.
The good news in all this is that I have seven new sizes of firesteels, filling in some gaps between the sizes where I thought additional sizes would help. This brings me to a total of 16 different sizes, with a few more on the way in the coming months.
A couple of shipments ago, I decided to name all of the sizes after animals. I had a couple insects in there and some other random critters, but now they are all named after North American mammals. Hopefully a cheetah or leopard did not sneak in there to showcase my ignorance of wildlife.