Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Cast Iron Vegetable Bread

Recipe Edit

This is a very tasty and easy-to-make vegetable bread. This recipe is quite good, but I am still doing some fine-tuning.


2¼ teaspoons(1 package) instant yeast
2¼ cupslukewarm water
4½ cupsall-purpose flour
1 tablespoonsDried rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoonsfine salt
3 tablespoonsolive oil, divided
3/4 cupgrated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoonsThrive chopped onion
2 tablespoonsThrive spinach
½ teaspoonFine, ground pepper
5 teaspoonsMinced garlic
½ cupThrive diced carrots
3/4 cupThrive diced tomato
½ tablespoonParsley


  1. Combine the yeast and water in a large mixing bowl and wait a few minutes for yeast to activate.
  2. Add half the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and the remaining flour and stir until combined. Blitz the dried ingredients before adding them.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Or, you can let the dough rise in the skillet (next step).
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  6. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bottom of a 10″ or 12″ cast iron skillet. Dust bottom of pan with a little flour to make the bread easier to remove. You can also sprinkle some salt and pepper in the skillet, if desired.
  7. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour before shaping it into a rough disk (dough will be sticky). Place the dough in the skillet, cover loosely, and let it rise about 30 minutes until puffy.
  8. Drizzle additional olive oil over the top of the bread. Slash the dough with a sharp knife to create an X shape. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with the Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Recipe: Backpack Chicken with Vegetables

This recipe uses Thrive freeze dried ingredients to create a backpacking meal that only requires boiling water. This can be used as an alternative to the expensive pre-packaged backpacking meals. Making your own meals costs much less and you can vary the recipes depending on your personal preferences.

2 tbl Thrive Chicken (any style) finely crushed
1/2 cup Couscous
2 tsp Thrive Chicken Bouillon

1 tbl Thrive Carrots
1 tsp Thrive Onions
1 tsp Thrive Spinach
3 Florets Thrive Broccoli (finely crushed)
2 Florets Thrive Cauliflower (finely crushed)
Dash Pepper, parsley, basil
1-1/4 cup Boiling water

Combine all ingredients in a backpacking bag and seal. When read to ear add boiling water, seal, and let cook for six minutes. Mix thoroughly and eat.

Coronavirus Silver Linings

While the COVID-19 has been a serious blow to the world we have seen some positives come from this crisis.

  • Truckers are getting supplies to the stores.
  • People are stocking store shelves all night and letting old people shop first.
  • Carnival Cruise line told Trump “We can match those big Navy Hospital ships with some fully staffed cruise ships”
  • GM said hold our cars and watch this; we can make those ventilators where we were making cars starting next week.
  • People are making homemade masks and handing out snacks to truckers.
  • Restaurants and schools are using their facilities and staff to feed kids.
  • Churches are holding on-line services and taking care of their members and community.
  • NBA basketball players are writing checks to pay the arena staff.
  • Construction companies gave masks for the medical staff and doctors.
  • Breweries are making sanitizer out of the left-over ingredients.
  • People are ordering take-out to help restaurants.

Some items came from Dennis Hehn

Past Virus Epidemics

Avian (Bird) Flu
H5N1 – HPAI virus
Nearly 60% of those infected died

Spanish flu
1918 – 1920
Infected 500 million worldwide (about 27% of the world population)
Fatalities: {estimated} 17-50 million

Swine Flu
Infected about 700 million to 1.4 billion or 11–21% of the global population (of about 6.8 billion)
Fatalities: about 150,000 – 575,000

highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus


***** This section is under construction *****

You may be able to significantly reduce the effects of disaster through mitigation. Mitigation involves taking steps to prevent potential from happening. Mitigation can include structural updates, non-structural measures, purchasing appropriate insurance, etc.


The pesticide, Permethrin, is often used to treat clothes so that they act as the first line of defense against insects. Some flea and tick medications for dogs contain permethrin. While permethrin is effective (and normally safe) for dogs, it can be very bad for cats. According to Wikipedia:

“Pesticide-grade permethrin is toxic to cats. Many cats die after being given flea treatments intended for dogs, or by contact with dogs having recently been treated with permethrin. In cats it may induce hyperexcitability, tremors, seizures, and death.”

When used properly permethrin is an effective defense against insects but be aware of the side-effects and risks of this chemical. It is often sprayed on clothes to make them insect resistant. Permethrin must be re-applied after clothes have been washed multiple times (will last for up to six washings).


Selecting the proper clothing and base layers is critical to your comfort. Choose durable clothes that wick moisture away from your body.

Bugout Clothes

A good set of clothes for your Bugout Bag should include:

  • Wool socks (3 pair) are comfortable and wick moisture
  • Underwear (3)
  • Pants (2): I like hiking pants with multiple pockets
  • Moisture wicking shirts (2)
  • Long-sleeved shirt base layer
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Long underpant base layer


You must be prepared when exploring bear country. Bears are omnivores which means that they eat just about anything. Bears are large, powerful, and very fast in spite of their size. Bear attacks are rare but you need to know what to do when exploring their territory. There are type types of bears common in North America:

  • Black bears are 5′ to 6′ long, can weigh up to 600 pounds, and can run at up to 35 mph.
  • Brown bears can grow to over 9′ in length, can weight up to 1200 pounds, and can run at up to 37 mph.

I must confess that I have never encountered a bear while hiking. I carried bear spray but have never deployed it in a bear encounter. With those caveats here is some information that I have collected over the years. Be sure to read my complete article on Bear Spray. While in bear country remember:

  • Be Alert: Watch for bears and for signs of bears such as bear prints and scat.
  • Make Noise: Two of the worst things that you in bear country are coming between momma bear and her cubs and surprising a bear. Make noise while on the trail. Loud conversation, singing, or bear bells attached to your backpack can reduce your chances of surprising a bear.
  • Bear Spray: Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Stop at visitor centers and ask the rangers about trail conditions and how to deal with local bears. They often have inert cans of bear spray so you can practice holding the can, releasing the safety, and aiming. Rangers live there, they know the area well, and it is their job to provide information to tourists. Carry the bear spray so that you can get to it immediately!
  • Don’t Hike Alone: It is best to hike with 3-4 people. If you must hike alone then be extra careful and be prepared.
  • Don’t Run: Never run from a bear. They can run at over 30 mpg. An Olympic sprinter can reach about 28 mph so you cannot outrun a bear.

If You Encounter a Bear

These guidelines came directly from a card from the National Park Service (bullet points taken verbatim from that card):

  • If you have a surprise encounter with a bear — slowly back away.
  • If the bear charges — stand your ground & use bear spray.
  • If the bear attacks — play dead.
  • If the bear stalks you, then attacks — fight back.
  • If a bear attacks you in your tent — fight back.

Refilling Propane Bottles

Many portable propane devices such as camp stoves, lanterns, and heaters use the one pound canisters (often called “Coleman Bottles”). These 1# bottles are very convenient to carry but they can get a bit pricey to use. The bottles cost about $5 each and some devices can empty these canisters fairly quickly.

You can refill these one pound canisters if you have an refill adapter and a larger propane tank. It should cost about $0.75 to refill a 1# bottle and it keeps the canister out of the landfill. Four 1# bottles contain about one gallon of propane. At $5 per bottle this means that the propane costs about $20/gallon. Propane generally costs around $3 per gallon. You can refill the 1# bottles using a refill adapter, a larger propane tank, and a little bit of care. I found some YouTube videos showing how to refill the one-pound bottles:

Be EXTREMELY careful when refilling propane bottles!