Preliminary Experiments with a Vapor Barrier

I was recently reading about vapour barriers (Andrew Skurka’s site and Section hiker). It sounded impressive.  The gear is not very expensive from Stevenson’s Warmlite (possibly the only R-rated outdoor gear catalogue in the world), so I ordered a shirt, gloves and socks. I’m nominally an XL, but L would probably fit better.

It wasn’t that cold over the weekend with temperatures into the low thirties, but I gave it a try. What seems to work is a wicking shirt like a polypro top, followed by a vapour barrier layer and then insulation.  It was surprisingly warm with even a thin outer layer.  Stevenson’s says it adds 15 degrees F when sealed up, and this seems realistic.

This got me thinking about cheaper ways to test out vapour barriers – I could have just worn my frogg toggs underneath and seen how that worked.  But then what would I have done for rain (if it rained?). I’m tempted to try using a bivy sack inside of a sleeping bag (well sleeping quilt) to see if that works before finding a real vapor barrier liner.


Preparing Persimmons



The persimmons are getting ripe again, and we have a bumper crop. They slowly ripen as the weather gets cold and as long as you beat the deer and raccoons to them. In the picture the one at the top is almost ripe. They should be extremely soft and ready to fall off the tree.

One big headache is removing the seeds and other non-edible stuff from the fruit. In the past, I would push them through a strainer – which was a lot of work and tended to break the strainers. There must be an easier way!

There is. Put the persimmons directly in an electric mixer and pulp them (I use the egg whisk on a 30 year old kitchen aid mixer that was a wedding present). Add the milk, sugar and spices required for the recipe and then whip the mixture. This can then be strained to remove the seeds – no fuss and a lot less mess than trying to strain the pulp directly. The mixture gets quite thick – almost like a pudding or milkshake – so I think it can be turned into a persimmon pudding without too much work, but I don’t have a recipe for that (yet).

Persimmon muffins.

Approximately 10 ripe American persimmons.
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
tablespoon cinnamon
teaspoon ginger
teaspoon salt (I like the “Lite” salt that is 75% KCl)
2 cups milk
pulp the persimmons and then add the rest of the above. Filter out the seeds using a strainer.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
tablespoon baking powder.
Mix the above with the persimmon/milk mixture
2-3 cups plain flour (enough to make a stiff batter)

put into greased muffin tins and bake at 350F (180C) until done (about 15-20 minutes).

The muffins will be heavy, moist and delicious.

Written by Rob in: outdoors,recipe,Wildlife |

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