Bug Repellants

Bug Repellants

Any of my friends will tell you that I loath black flies and mosquitoes. They turn the perfect part of the spring into an obnoxious swat-fest. I remember the first time I went canoeing with my wife and father-in-law. He was gung-ho to find the best route and followed the directions of “seasoned” canoeists on an internet database. I should have inspected the route, but I assumed they knew where to go and how long it would take. It was not my first time canoeing, but being the better man, I let my father-in-law run the show. He will never live it down. It was toward the end of day one, when we ended up in a small lake. Actually, a large island, ringed by a small “lake”. Ok, it was a swamp. An island in the middle of a swamp. The map indicated a single swamp symbol, and that was more than enough apparently. When we got there it was about 3pm and as the day turned to night, the hordes of insects descended. First it was the black flies… because why not canoe during black fly season. And as soon as it dipped in temperature, the black flies would disappear and then for five minutes, everything was great. And then the mosquitoes. And they never left us alone until well after 8pm. Flying, Biting Insects Mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies and company, are the bane of every woodsman. I am not talking about the single mosquito that lands on your arm, I am talking about the cloud of mosquitoes that have nothing better to do than drain you...
How To Make Dry Laundry Detergent

How To Make Dry Laundry Detergent

It took me a while to take the plunge into making my own laundry detergent. Reason #1 was because I watched a bunch of videos on how to make liquid concentrate. In this style of recipe, you have to boil the soap flakes and other ingredients in a giant pot until everything melts down, separate it out into other 5 gallon containers and then re-hydrate it with even more water. Basically it looked like a pain in the ass to make and from what I saw, took up a huge amount of room, and we are all tight on space. Reason #2 was if it is going to take up all this room and smell up the house while cooking the soapy mixture, my wife was going to be less than enthusiastic about doing something like this again. On a rather recent Survival Punk podcast episode, James (one of the hosts) talked about making a dry detergent mixture during a rainy day. I read his article over, checked out some other sources (as you should always do when embarking on a science experiment) and purchased the rather cheap ingredients at the local discount grocery store. All in all, I spent around $15.00 to $20.00 – the same price as a jug of detergent. Not bad. I have been using the recipe below for around 4 months and I doubt I will go back to the liquid concentrate. It is a huge difference in cost. The recipe below will make 50 mason jars of liquid detergent (100 large loads) in a single mason jar, and I still have most of the boxes of borax,...