Archive for the ‘camping’ Category

Camping Boxes

January 31, 2011

These boxes were designed last Easter when we went camping at Wee Jasper, near Canberra. They didn’t get made until this holiday season, just in time for our next trip to Wee Jasper.

camping boxes

My carpentry skills are limited, so I went for simple butt joint screw and glue construction.

construction is simple, like my carpentary skills!

I was pretty pleased with being able to cut all pieces from a single sheet of 12mm and single sheet of 9mm ply. I now have a full sheet of 9mm left over for another project. Or more boxes!

I used the left over varnish from the lounge room floor, to make them look nice and shiny. The fronts of the draws got three coats. Probably overkill?

Handles were a problem. I tried the local hardware to no avail. Eventually I decided to make my own from 12mm ply, heavy fencing wire and reo offcuts, drilled each end to take the wire. The result is effective and nice to look at, but a but of a knuckle buster to use. They need a limiter to stop them folding up completely when lifting and squashing your fingers.

home made handles

In practical use the boxes were a success. They can fit into the back of the Kombi in several configurations, the favourite being with all draws accessible from the rear door. Handy when traveling and in need of something. (I forgot to take a pic of them in place.) At the camp site they keep everything in place and make a handy kitchen bench and draw set. No, I didn’t consider a sink for the top! (again, forgot a pic)

room for lots of stuff!

I may make up another box for food storage? With space for the gas cooker on top. This would put everything in wooden boxes, except personal items, tent and tarp.

Next camping trip? Wee Jasper again I think.


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Esky test with Techni Ice sheets

March 17, 2010

I’m nearing the end of a multi day test of our camping esky, using the new “techni ice” sheets recently purchased from ebay.

Although I’ve left the lid sealed for the four days, there wasn’t any thermal mass in the esky in the form of cold food to start the process, so I feel it gives a good indication of how things may perform over a similar period whilst camping. It will certainly provide a benchmark for testing other methods, eskies, and ice types.

To begin a 5 litre solid ice block and 2 x 2litre solid ice bottles were placed in the esky. The 5 ltr block forms a space at one end which was lined with sheets of techni ice and a foam lid placed on top to form a “freezer” section. The other techi ice was placed on the base of the esky. All up, 6 sheets of techni ice.

The thermometer probe was placed in the freezer section and the lid shut.

Readings were taken of ambient (outside) and internal temperatures at different times, as convenient.

It took four days for the temperature to get above 10 degrees C. The esky was sometimes in the direct sun.

Esky test data March 2010 ambient and internal temps

The data was entered into excel and a chart created to show the results.

The horizontal scale isn’t, to scale that is! But it is close enough and you can see the daily cycles by the ambient temperature drops at night.

The temp only got much above 5C by the end of the third day. Quite good I think!

It will be interesting to see how things go in the real world of kids opening the esky all the time and food being taken out and put back in. The freezer idea will be a good one I think, with frozen food not being exposed to warmer food or open lids. I just need to perfect my lid making process. The last fibreglassing attempt was a distaster!

I hope to discuss esky management issues more in the future. Strange hobby, I know!