Review: Disciple Extended Ops tactical pack MK II

I have been on the  lookout for a smaller pack -smaller than my existing 80 litre rucksack. I had bought this on sale and red was the only colour available. A brightly coloured pack is not very suitable when trekking out in the wilderness, trying to observe the flora and fauna around you as in nature, bright colours are considered cautionary. Then, an 80 liter pack is good for winter camping, but works out a bit too bulky for using all year round, -unless you are the among those who believe in luxury camping and carry everything including the kitchen sink with them.  Even if you aren’t that kind, empty space in a pack presents an incredible  temptation to fill up with unnecessary stuff, often stuff you would end up not using on the trip. This pack, the ‘Disciple Extended Ops pack MK II’ being an assault/extended Op’s pack  also makes an excellent 72 hour (3 day) bug-out bag. Continue reading “Review: Disciple Extended Ops tactical pack MK II”

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Review: Hohner Golden melody 10 hole diatonic harmonica

Its been a while since I played a harmonica, around 30 years at least. I remember the black Hero harmonica that dad had. In fact most of my friends who had harmonicas had Heros’. Its quality was pretty good and I was surprised to find out a few days back that it was/is made in China. I always thought the print on the cover was Japanese.

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A visit to the sea port of Malpe

I don’t visit Malpe beach very often.  I do however have fond memories of being there during childhood and can still feel the queer sensation of the receding waves of the Arabian sea drawing away the sand from between my toes and around my feet. A long time back my maternal grandfather had a house on the beachfront, but then they moved inshore by the time I was born. In spite of all the fond memories, I  don’t like how commercialisation has affected  the beach.

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Cleaning/de-veining Prawns

Prawns have been one of my favourite foods. However like most bottom feeding or filter feeding creatures, (prawns, mussels, crabs, cat fish etc..) it causes allergies -serious allergies in some people. I know of friends and relatives, who would die without medical aid if they ever ate one or more of these foods, yet they long to eat these forbidden foods. In fact we bury the waste from the above foods as if the household dog or cat eats the waste, it throws up in no time.

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Banana stalk oil applicator

Most houses in coastal south India having a garden also have one or more banana/plantain ( Musa balbisiana ) plants in addition to a few coconut trees. The plant has a long list of uses, apart from its edible fruit. You can check another documented use of its stem in this post. Here we outline how an oil applicator can be made from the stalk of one of the leaves of this plant. This can be used to oil the flat griddles (usually cast iron) before pouring a dosa (A sort of rice/black gram fermented pancake). It is simple to make, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Continue reading “Banana stalk oil applicator”

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Drumstick leaf fried rice

The drumstick tree, as it is known in India or the Moringa Oleifera, is a well known tree. The stick like seed pod is commonly cooked and at home is mandatory for sambar, the leaves although being highly nutritious are seldom used in our house. Even though we had a tree by our window all through our childhood years in Bombay, my mother, in spite of knowing that it was edible, seldom prepared it. They themselves ate it during their childhood, but only in its capacity as a medicine or probably as some kind of famine food during hard times. Even when I go home for Christmas every year, and we have a tree growing in our garden, she won’t prepare it unless I insist. This time I did. The flowers of the Moringa are edible as well.

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Review: Zebra 12cm billycan

I currently have 4 cook pots that I use when trekking or camping. I use them at home quite often too!

  • The Vargo Ti lite mug
  • The Snowpeak Trek 900 Titanium
  • The Montbell #3D Titanium cooker
  • The Zebra 12cm “Billy Can”

The Zebra has been my latest acquisition, and my first stainless steel cook pot as I prefer titanium for most of my outdoor gear. Although I’ve not yet reviewed my other cookware, I’d better start off with the Zebra as I have a huge backlog of posts for writing as of now and I’d better start with what’s fresh in my mind.

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