Backcountry

Video: How to Use the App Libby to Access Library Audio and Kindle Books

Video: How to Use the App Libby to Access Library Audio and Kindle Books

Carry less stuff, but consume more books!

As a perpetual road dawg, I’m always looking for ways to carry less stuff. But I love gettin’ me some book knowledge. What’s Craigy Cakes to do?!

I use the app, Libby!

In this tutorial, I show you how to set up the app with your library, search for audio and ebooks, and send the books to your Kindle or play the audiobook.

I’m never without a stock of great audio or Kindle books to keep my brain occupied. Nor should you be!

Video: Craig versus the driveway

Video: Craig versus the driveway

Slip slidin’ away

I’ve shared in various forms about the challenging driveway here at the off-the-grid ranch, especially now that snow is starting to pile up. Thought I’d give y’all a better look at what I’m dealing with. On my way into town I got surprised with quite a beautiful sight. Check out the video to see what I’m talking about!

Video: Drain Down Procedure at the Off-The-Grid Ranch

Video: Drain Down Procedure at the Off-The-Grid Ranch

How to prevent pipes from bursting if the off-the-grid ranch is left during the winter

One of my tasks as ranch hand is to watch over the place while the owner is gone. Given the ranch is situated far beyond maintained roads, at 9,000 feet, in Gunnison, CO (AKA the icebox of Colorado), it’s reasonable to assume a situation could arise when it would be prudent to jump ship from the ranch:

  • The approach of a monster blizzard that would trap me for a week plus

  • An all-expense paid invitation to tour with the “shorter than 5’7” tall Swedish Bikini Team”

  • A chance to go ski for a week in fluffy pow pow

Review of the weBoost 4G Connect Cell Phone Booster product

Review of the weBoost 4G Connect Cell Phone Booster product

Here I provide a testimonial of how the weBoost 4G Connect cell phone booster dramatically helped improve communications at the off-the-grid ranch, at 9,000 feet in Gunnison, CO. We went from an inconsistent, trace signal in a small location of the deck, to a consistent 2-4 bars of LTE throughout the cabin. Brian Galyon of www.coloradobackcountryadventures.com provided me with the system, but I was under no obligation to promote this product. It's a life-saving product for those off-the-grid.

Video intro to the off-the-grid ranch, the power systems, and my howling dog

Video intro to the off-the-grid ranch, the power systems, and my howling dog

A brief overview of the off-the-grid ranch I'm working at - 103 acres, 5,000 square foot structure, half 3-bay garage, half cabin at 9,000 feet outside of Gunnison, Colorado. I give a little look/see of the power system - 50volt battery system, inverters, a diesel generator. You also get to see my howling dog.

Namaste, bitches.

Pro-tips for the Google Maps App from a power-user

Pro-tips for the Google Maps App from a power-user

In a recent episode of the podcast Nomad Ramblings, #15: TECHNOLOGY AND APPS WE USE, AND PODCASTS WE LISTEN TO, I described some of the deep, very useful features of the Google Maps, namely:

  1. Route Options - how to avoid highways and tollways

  2. Search Along Route - find cheap gas or any other stops along the way

  3. Use GPS coordinates and learn how Google Maps can direct you even when you have no cell signal!!

How I Installed a Deep Cycle Battery in my 2nd Gen Tacoma Engine Compartment

How I Installed a Deep Cycle Battery in my 2nd Gen Tacoma Engine Compartment

It’s hard to overstate the utility of power on the road. As someone who spends a large percentage of his time either in the backcountry or getting from point A to B, charging or powering my gizmos is critical.

  • I charge my computer, phone, and renewable batteries for my headlamp;

  • I power a small fan to stay cool on hot, humid nights;

  • I power lights for my campsite;

  • I charge my friends stuff;

  • I power and charge tools;

  • I’ve even powered a strobe light/disco ball for an impromptu backcountry party.

All while at camp, without having to run my vehicle.

How do I do this? By having installed a deep-cycle battery, which is charged by the alternator, into my engine compartment. I ran wires from that battery into my truck bed, which houses an inverter to grant me access to AC power. It’s a total game changer and this post describes how I did it.

A Quick Glance at an Off-The-Grid Power System at 9,000 Feet

A Quick Glance at an Off-The-Grid Power System at 9,000 Feet

Learning to live with off-the-grid power systems

The OTG ranch presents some unique considerations not required in a grid-tied-in home when doing laundry.

  • Do I have enough solar power?

  • Is last night’s snowfall (about two inches) covering the panels preventing current and near-term battery bank charging?

  • What’s the voltage of the battery bank?

  • If I need more voltage and power, does my need to do laundry justify powering up the diesel generator?

  • If I am getting enough solar charging, what’s the optimum part of the day to incur such a large power demand such as a washer and a drier cycle?

Nomad Ramblings Reporting From The Kansas Cornfields...

Nomad Ramblings Reporting From The Kansas Cornfields...

My bromance from afar with Brian Galyon of Colorado Backcountry Adventures continues. Today I listened to his solo podcast coming from the epic adventure landscape of backcountry…Kansas. (Wut?) From his reporting, I guess it’s true. Check out Episode #14 of Nomad Ramblings in which Brian relays his insider knowledge of how to enjoy the bountiful Kansas wilderness. How? You’ll have to listen to find out.