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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/02/2006 20:43:47 MDT Print View

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I guess titanium spoons are nice, but at $18.00 I could buy 18 of my bamboo long handled spoons, weighing only 10 grams each. The bamboo is stronger than and doesn't bend like plastic spoons, doesn't feel cold in freezing weather, tastes good, has a soup-spoon-sized bowl, and has that friendly feeling of wood and is carved to fit smoothly in your hand. And it only costs a $1.00!

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/02/2006 20:54:15 MDT Print View

I'll bite Miguel, where does one acquire one?

Edited by pyeyo on 10/02/2006 20:54:49 MDT.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/02/2006 21:01:06 MDT Print View

Or my DQ spoon. 3.3grams and free with any Blizzard treat ;) I've got quite a collection and take them on almost any trip. I've yet to break one but not too worried if I did.

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
the spoon on 10/02/2006 22:01:32 MDT Print View

Yes!!! wood is good

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Curry Spoon on 10/02/2006 23:50:20 MDT Print View

It is a curry spoon, sold for 100 yen in Japan, maybe you can find them at a $1 store in the US. Along the lines of unconventional utensils, a set of bamboo chopsticks weighs maybe 10gm, and is very useful if you actually cook in 'the field'.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Curry Spoon on 10/03/2006 03:42:25 MDT Print View

Yes, as Brett described, it's a curry spoon (those Japanese characters on the handle say "curry spoon"). And also they can be bought in any ¥100 discount store in Japan. (not sure about $1.00 shops in the U.S., but you might want to try a Japanese or Asian food store).

I also carry a pair of bamboo chopsticks (or else just strip a pair of twigs of their bark) for eating ramen and such direct out of the pot. If you learn how to use chopsticks well and eat Japanese style by shoveling food out of the pot or a light bowl, you don't even need a spoon. I recommend getting the dull-tipped chopsticks so it's easier to pick up tiny morsels like rice grains.

And if you can't find the spoons anywhere, it's very easy to make them. Just carve a thick length of (dry) bamboo... Since gram for gram bamboo is stronger than steel you get something strong and light. And ecologically conscious!

I am now trying to learn more about bamboo basketry to see if I can construct a simple bamboo frame for a backpack. Traditional Japanese woodcutters and many different cultures around Asia have used bamboo packs for centuries. You can work it like steel or alumnium pipes, bend it like plastic, and weave it like fabric. I wonder if it would be appropriate for ultralight gear? I think I'm going to give it a try.

Edited by butuki on 10/03/2006 03:47:38 MDT.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
chopsticks / O-hashi on 10/03/2006 05:06:20 MDT Print View

The disposable chopsticks in Japan are the easiest to use because they are square shaped and are not glossy or polished but a bit rough. Easy. And when you get good with them you can really inhale a lot of food quick !

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/03/2006 12:28:58 MDT Print View

Remember, wood is porous and as such, readily holds bacteria and gives them a breeding place.

Sterilizing a wooden object is virtually impossible with the resources a hiker might have.

Metal, plastic, or lexan are a far better choice.

They're your guts; want to loan them to Montezuma?

WB

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/04/2006 16:50:25 MDT Print View

Wood is antibacterial. All spoons have places that will harbor food bits. A reasonably clean wooden spoon should be as safe as anything else. Note: Wooden cutting boards are safer than those plastic things, inlcuding those some folks use for backpacking.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/04/2006 20:25:48 MDT Print View

Yes, I've seen studies comparing wooden cutting boards and those white plastic cutting boards used in kitchens and the wooden boards where found to be more sterile than the plastic ones. Something about the wood that does not harbour bacteria or kills bacteria.

Dan

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/04/2006 21:11:26 MDT Print View

Had to smile about the dscussion here... I've been using wooden chopsticks and spoons almost everyday for 45 years since I was a child. Never once had a problem. Not with my bamboo spoon for hiking either. As long as you clean it and dry it off well, there is no problem at all.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: SUL Long Handled Titanium Spoon on 10/04/2006 21:32:53 MDT Print View

>> Sterilizing a wooden object is virtually impossible with the resources a hiker might have.

I always dip my Ti spork in the boiling water for 30 seconds before doing the boil-in-bag thing. It's a habit mostly. I have no idea how effective this is at sterilizing things. I guess this might work for a wooden spoon, too.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Titanium spoon on 10/04/2006 21:49:21 MDT Print View

Would it be feasible for BPL to expand the size of its spoon, and offer a titanium snow shovel? I'm sure the readers of this forum know far better than I do what a life-saving piece of gear a snow shovel is. If it isn't feasible, I guess I'll just put a spoon in each hand and dig my snow cave with my Superman Super Speed.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Titanium Shovel on 10/04/2006 22:10:52 MDT Print View

Just got me thinking... if in winter you're going to bringing something like a titanium shovel (I would truly hate to contemplate the PRICE of the the thing!), how about having the shovel do double duty as a removeable pack frame sheet? It could even be plastic, like the Snow Cat shovels...

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Bamboo for sawanobori on 10/04/2006 22:42:06 MDT Print View

Miguel, as you probably know, bamboo is an amazingly complex and strong composite material, and a sustainable eco-friendly one at that. Many ancient materials such as wool (and hopefully bamboo) are finding new appreciation among backpackers. While on a sawanobori trip I saw traditional climbers using bamboo baskets as packs, and rope sandals. These items drained and dried much faster than my neoprene booties and nylon backpack (which held water like a baloon!). Those guys gave new meaning to the word 'trad'climbing! I think bamboo could replace aluminum stays in a conventional backpack, and of course, makes a great walking stick; strong, flexible, (and free). Please let us all know what modern uses you find for it?
-Brett. Tokyo, Japan.
Descripion of bamboos composite structure: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17155245

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Bamboo for sawanobori on 10/04/2006 22:50:23 MDT Print View

Wood pack stays are a great idea. Smooth, easily made with rounded edges, light. Really thin ones would have some spring to them too.


Sur La Table has an 18" bamboo spoon for $6 -- might double as a snow shovel :) They do have smaller ones too:

http://www.surlatable.com/common/products/product_details.cfm?PRRFNBR=18719

Check out their bamboo flatware too:
http://www.surlatable.com/common/products/product_details.cfm?PRRFNBR=13283

I work close to this outfit-- I know where I'm going at lunch time :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 10/04/2006 23:00:54 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Bamboo for sawanobori on 10/05/2006 05:56:07 MDT Print View

Brett, those baskets and frames are the things I am interested in. I just wish I had the skill to make them and knew where to find the bamboo materials. Those bamboo groves that you see in the countryside all over the place are private property and you can get in trouble if you take bamboo without asking. Do you have any photos of the sawanobori gear and climbers you saw? I'd love to study their designs and see if I can learn to put together my own designs through them. However, bamboo-work is a real art, like woodworking, and takes years to learn well, so...

One idea I've been playing with for some time is to use a basket (or mesh) outer pack, into which you insert a very light drysack. The basket will then act as one huge outer pocket, frame, and protective surface for your gear. All you do is stuff gear that you normally would put into the outer pockets, between the basket and drysack. But since the bamboo frame has a form (though it can be quite soft if you use thin bamboo weaving) all you would really need to do is keep vital items protected from moisture inside the basket. Everything else would drain and dry quickly.

There is a lot ultralighter can learn from sawanobori walkers. Though the sport itself is quite new, climbing mountain creeks and the accompanying gear that is used has been used for centuries by mountain fishermen and people like wasabi farmers and mountain edible plant gatherers. Sawanobori walkers have long used tarps for camping and their gear is especially suited for very wet environment climbing (for instance some people use felt-soled fishermen shoes for walking in the creeks).

Speaking of traditional gear I saw a program by British bushcraft specialist Ray Mears in which he visits the Sami of Norway. One of the traditional Sami reindeer herders who spends most of his life outdoors in the Arctic, told Ray that he never uses modern insulation (like wool) for his footwear. He said it tends to sweat too easily and hold too much moisture. So, though he uses Gore-tex for his jacket, he still prefers to use traditional knee-high mukluks stuffed with hay. He said the hay does a much better job at keeping the feet warm and dry. I always thought that traditional Japanese reed snowboots were silly, but now I'm not so sure. Also, traditional Japanese raincapes made of straw (like roof thatching) were supposed to be superb at keeping rain off and breathing extremely well.

And there is the recent discussion about George Mallory's Everest gear

So much to learn from the past, when people spent much more time outdoors than we ever will.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Bamboo for sawanobori on 10/05/2006 09:11:48 MDT Print View

Interesting points Miguel.

As a sidenote... since you mentioned Ray Myers... I have seen many of his shows and although I often find them interesting and educational, I really think he should change the name from "Extreme Survival" to something else. I mean... he usually has a truckload of gear and staff and food and cameramen etc. etc. with him. The Vietman episode was particually ridiculous... he had to hire an entire small village to carry all his gear into camp!!! Hardly what I'd refer to as "survival"... but it is an interesting program.

Edited by davidlewis on 10/05/2006 09:14:24 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Bamboo for sawanobori on 10/05/2006 10:49:35 MDT Print View

Dave, I'm not sure which of the series it was, the "World of Survival", "Extreme Survival", or "Ultimate Survival", but there is one video where he sits with the camera and talks about the limitations that a television film crew has in showing what bushcraft is really like. He then swivels the camera around and shows just how much gear is necessary for making the documentary, most of it technical gear like cameras, sound equipment, and computer equipment. I like his "World of Survival" series the best because he tones down the military aspect and spends much more time looking at traditional bushcraft skills of hunter/ gatherers around the world, people who still actually live their whole lives in the wild and rely on bushcraft and going light to survive. I think Ray really does know his stuff and when on his own really does travel very light... a Jardine Breeze sized backpack with a hammock.

But then, too, I don't think the ultralight backpacking style as it is practiced by most people here could handle real long-term life in the bush. It is too fragile and relies too much on modern technology. Things like machetes and axes and good knives just don't figure in the ultralight vocabulary, and yet those things are essential when you are trying to survive, especially when you need to make shelter and find food.

Edited by butuki on 10/05/2006 10:55:03 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Bamboo for backpacks on 10/05/2006 23:41:30 MDT Print View

I do not have any pictures of the climbers; I rarely took out my camera in that wet environment, but I saw some traditional sawanobori stuff at Sakaiya. Separate vendor, but here is an example basket:
http://www.kikori-japanese-antiques.com/catalog/view_product.php?product=B004
I use the felt fishing shoes you mentioned, but if I had to make the purchase again, Id buy the rubber sandals and the neoprene tabi. More versitile, sort of traditional, and about half the price.