Friday, September 25, 2009

More on First Aid

At my age and state of decay, a decent first aid kit is really not an option, but a necessity. Furthermore, if you are going out on the trail, as any old Scout will tell you, a first aid kit of some sort is an absolute must. You cannot get the most out of the outdoors if you spend all your time concerned about how you are going to preserve yourself, so a first aid kit really contributes to your appreciation of the country!

As I mentioned some months ago, I have been shopping for a first aid kit. I am looking, of course, for one that will not take up too much room in or contribute too much weight to my letterboxing kit. I have found some great products on line and in local stores that have really nice small cases, but do not offer what I am looking for in a kit, so I decided that it was time to go back to my Scouting roots and make my own.

One of the first pages that I stumbled upon when searching for personal first aid kit advice was on the Vermillion County, Illinois page. It is aimed specifically at Search and Rescue volunteers, and it has some fantastic pointers, and they have much of what I am looking for in a first aid kit: they are very compact and yet versatile. If you are interested, take a look at the site here. I am thinking of putting three or four of these together so I can have one in each car, one for the kit and one for long walks in the country.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Schwinn Bike Letterbox

When I was a kid I had a lime-green Schwinn. My parents took me to Bob's Bikes in Fair Oaks and we perused every bike in the store until we lit on the green cruiser. It was a beauty, and I loved it. I crashed it often enough that it eventually ended up with an off-plumb frame, and it was retired. I do not know what ever happened to that old bike, but I have never had another quite like it.

So the Schwinn Bike Letterbox in Folsom started off with several points in its favor. It is a beautiful walk along the American River, but if I had given it even a little thought I might have chosen a slightly cooler day for the hike. It was a long hike in the 91° weather, but I had a quart of icy cold water in my Nalgene and a good straw hat on my head, so I was ready to go. I really appreciated my trusty chestnut staff today. There is a delightful nineteenth century ruin on this hike, which makes it all the more delightful, and the instructions are simple and clear, so when you find the box, you know you have found it.

It was a lovely afternoon in the country. There is a second box, unrelated to the Schwinn Bike box, that starts on the same path. I think that will be the next on the Wandering Walkers agenda!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Atlas Quest vs. LbNA

In the minds of many letterboxers there appears to be a tacit rivalry between the Atlas Quest and Letterboxing North America (LbNA) websites. My first introduction to letterboxing was via the LbNA site, and it has been my go-to source for letterboxes ever since. Atlas Quest, I thought, was a secondary information repository that some letterboxers preferred to put their information into, and they invariably linked the information through LbNA.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Atlas Quest has a wealth of letterboxes that are not listed on the LbNA site! How was I to know? Now, whenever I am planning an excursion, both sites are definite stops before the trip.

Atlas Quest is a more modern site with a lot more bells and whistles than the rather old-fashioned LbNA site. LbNA, in its austerity, is more in the spirit of the sport itself, but that is not an issue for me. I have a sentimental fondness of LbNA, but my new re-discovery of Atlas Quest has kindled a desire to find all the local letterboxes!