Baby Soda Bottles

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ParisonTubesThere is a nearly indestructible plastic tube that has recently started to become popular for all kinds of things ranging from being used as test tubes for kids to carrying a minimalist first aid or survival kit. These plastic tubes come from companies that manufacture soda and water bottles out of PET plastic. You may have heard them called baby soda bottles or preforms, they are technically called Parison Tubes. These tubes are the middle stage of the three stage process used to manufacture 2 liter soda bottles, well technically all soda bottles. These just happen to be for 2 liter bottles. A standard soda bottle cap fits them and they are water proof and air tight. That alone a makes them perfect for all kinds of things that I can think of… tinder storage, loose tea or pipe tobacco container, mini first aid kits, water sample collection or even a test tube.

Review: I’m not sure that there is a bad thing I can say about these little guys. I love them. They are a great item for just storing crap in or carrying that one thing you don’t want destroyed in. They are light at only 1.8oz empty, unless you are an ultralight speed freak. They are nearly indestructible and last but not least they are really cheap. At 40¢ to 70¢ each, depending on where you get them and how many you purchase, they are well worth owning a few or perhaps a few dozen. I know you will find a use or ten for them.

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About Ratings

Discovered the Resident

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I was inspecting a bird house in my backyard today that I thought was abandoned and discovered this little guy. It’s a Flying squirrel that has apparently been living there all season but I just hadn”t noticed since I did not see any signs of activity. I tapped on it and the squirrel popped it’s head up and looked out to see what was happening. The second time I tapped the box it jumped out and glided to the ground. I was totally surprized. This is truly an awesome discovery, especially in my own backyard which is heavily populated buy the ever present Tree Rats that seem to be destroying the pine trees from the top down.

Humangear capCAP

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With all the discussion about water bottles and what is good and what is not, not to mention the stink with SIGG and BPA, its tough to decide what to use for a water bottle. A lot of people are leaning toward other metal bottles, usually stainless steel, while the Ultralight guys tend to just use soda bottles. I’ve tried my share of them too but usually end up back at the good old original white Nalgene bottle. They are nearly indestructible, fairly light weight, and very cheap. I lean toward the 1 quart bottle with the wide mouth but this is a compromise. I’d prefer the narrow mouth bottles because they are easier to drink from but they are more difficult to clean, especially in the dishwasher. Humangear has recently come out with a product that eliminates this issue as far as I am concerned. It’s called the capCAP.

capcap_1537_detail[1]The capCAP is essentially just a replacement cap that has a smaller hole with a cap in it. Simply take off the original Nalgene; or Camelbak, Cyclone, Stansport; cap and replace it with the capCAP. It’s that simple.

Review: This is short and sweet. It’s awesome! I’ll probably have 2 or 3 before all is said and done which is OK since they are only $5.95 each at REI and possibly cheaper online.

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Grasshopper Outdoor Products MonoMASTER

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The Grasshopper Products MonoMASTER is a very nice little device designed to contain all those tiny snippets of tippet and line generated while fishing your favorite stream. Essentially it’s a tube with a Velcro covered cylinder inside it that can be spun around to grab line. It’s got a fairly large capacity too. It easily handled three days of fishing debris including a good bit of line that I picked up out of streams left by the dry legged spin fishing locals. I also got a couple of nice Mepp’s Spinners out of the streams that will come in handy for the kids someday.

Review: This is a great item to have and is by far the best idea for on stream trash collection that I have seen yet. It’s also super cheap at only $11.95 as well. I only have 2 small complaints about it: 1) While it was in my hot car at lunch the adhesives used to stick the Velcro to the plastic cylinder came loose and had to be stuck back down. I’d suggest pulling off the bead of hot glue that Grasshopper runs down the Velcro seam, lifting the edges of the Velcro up and super gluing them back down. It’s working for me. 2) It could be a bit smaller or they should come out with a small/mini version. This one is just a bit large form a minimalist fly fisherman like me.  So stop toting around that little leader bag full of line scraps or stop stuffing them in your vest pocket and get one of these. Despite the minor adhesive issues this is a great idea and a great product that I highly recommend. Help keep our streams clean.

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Patagonia Riverwalker with Stealth Soles

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When my last pair of wading boots gave up the ghost after 8 years I started looking for a new pair. I knew that the next pair of boots I bought had to provide one thing that a felt bottom without studs can’t. That is security and footing on land. Specifically I was sick of busting my ass and knees getting in and out of the creeks.

I spent several months looking around and trying to decide what to get. The latest thing is in wading boots is stealth rubber soles. The intent of them seems to be to reduce the amount of contamination that get moved from one stream to another in the felt of traditional boots. Makes sense to me…

I ended up with a pair of Patagonia Riverwalkers with stealth rubber soles. I had high hope for these boots after I read the reviews in some of the flyfishing magazines. I picked them up for the rediculous sum of $160 at the local outdoor shop. It seems that Patagonia controls the price of these boots fairly closely since I could find them for no less online or in other shops. At twice the price of my last pair they have better walk on water.

Review: They don’t walk on water. They only kept me from slipping on the moss covered rocks in the creeks and streams of Watauga County, NC marginally well. The have one weakness that became apparent in the first 5 minute I was in the stream. They just can’t grip algae and most in the water like felt. Don’t get me wrong. They do OK and after a bit of time wearing them you get to where you really check your new footing before moving the other stable foot. I’d rate the grip in the water at about 75% of that of felt and 50% of that of felt with studs. They do out shine the old school lug soles though. I’ve got to decide now if I keep them and add studs or trade them in on a pair of felt soles. Just one more thing; scrambling on creek banks and in walking in wet grass is something that you don’t have to worry about with these boots. That stick like glue.

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And we’re off…

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After several false starts at blogs over the years I think I have finally figured out what I want to do with one. So here I go…

I use all kinds of crap in my daily life from computers & software to fishing gear, books, Bushcraft tools, backpack/camping items,  and power tools. I’m just going to let you know what I think about them all right here on DadOfAllTrades. I’ve come up with a rating system that is pretty simple. On a scale of 1 to 5 in I’ll rate them on Cost, Quality, Performance, Durability, and Overall. The rating box will look something like this:

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