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postheadericon How a solar still may save your life

How A Solar Still May Save Your Life

“Still? What’s that? Isn’t that what you use to make moonshine?” These are the types of questions you are likely to get if you tell someone that you just made a solar still in your backyard, but the fact is that these fascinating contraptions can actually be lifesavers (literally) if you ever find yourself in a tight situation with no water to drink.

A solar still works on the principle that leaves and other vegetation contain moisture, as does the ground in many cases. The only problem is how to get the moisture in a drinkable form; we’re not all koala bears, so just eating the leaves is out of the question. The answer, it turns out, is to harness the power of the sun to extract the moisture from the source by evaporating it and then using a plastic bag or plastic sheet to collect it. As you can probably guess, the one drawback to the solar still methods is that if you don’t have a plastic bag or sheet, you can’t use them. However, it is amazing how many strange substances can be made to function as a sheet of plastic when you’re desperate, so with a little bit of the spirit of MacGyver, you will probably be all right.

To construct a simple above ground still, take a plastic bag, preferably one that can seal and that is made of clear plastic, and fill it half to three-quarters full with vegetation: leaves, grass, stems and stalks, any type of green plant matter. Make sure that it is a sunny day, and find a hillside or other sloped surface to place the bag on. The idea is to make sure that when the water evaporates from the plants, it drains to one location in the bag so that you can collect it. To ensure this, place a small rock in one corner of the bag. The water will tend to pool around the rock.

You can also make a below ground still, although it is a little more involved. For this, you need a digging tool, a clear plastic sheet, and some sort of container. Dig a hole in the ground somewhere where you think the soil will have some moisture in it. Dig another hole at the bottom of this hole and place your container in it. Put some vegetation along the sides of the hole for extra moisture, and put the sheet on top. Weight it down, and then put a rock in the center of the tarp so that the tarp dips down and the part with the rock is the lowest point. As the sun strikes the tarp, the hole will heat up, and the moisture will evaporate and collect on the tarp. It will run down to the lowest point, where the rock is, and drip down into your container.

postheadericon A look at the several rock climbing gear available

A Look at the Several Rock Climbing Gear Available

There are several rock climbing gear available for rock climbing which is must to be carried by all rock climbers to keep themselves safe while climbing.

A Climbing Shoe is the most useful rock climbing gear used. Improved designs in these shoes have made it possible for climbers to reach destinations that were not possible earlier. The existing climbing shoes have smooth and rubber soles that can effectively protect the foot from shocks, sharp edges and provide appropriate friction.

A modern climbing rope is a key piece of safety equipment mainly needed for rock climbing and is an important rock climbing gear.

A D-shaped carabineer is used always in climbing. This consists of aluminum rings that can be opened with the help of a gate that is operated with the help of a spring. Normally, the spring grips the gate closed, but the gate can be opened to admit a rope.

A carabineer is considered to be safe till the gate is opened. To increase the security, 2 carabineers can be used in tandem with their gates reversed. It is not at all possible that some factor would make both the gates to open simultaneously.

Tubular nylon webbing is another rock climbing gear used often in climbing. It is made of nylon material woven into a flat tube an inch across. This webbing has very high strength. Unlike the climbing rope, it does not stretch under tension. Nylon webbing is the most frequently used tied into a loop. It can be easily cut to any preferred length. The ends are seasoned with heat to prevent fraying.

Loops of webbing sewn together at the factory also known as Pre sewn webbing is a favorite among climbers. Pre-sewn webbings though convenient are costlier than the custom-tied loops, which are cheaper and adjustable.

A climbing harness attaches the climber to the rope. This harness has a nylon belt, which has a big width and is strong. It also has loops for the thighs.

When such a harness is used to support the climber, most of the body weight is concentrated on the legs, rather than the climber’s waist, making it comfortable to hang in. Many variations is available in harness, a necessary rock climbing gear. More costly harnesses have more padding. The diameter of the leg loops can also be adjusted.

The belayer stops climbers who fall. This is quite difficult without the aid of the belay device, which is an object able of stop the rope or passing it through smoothly. Belay devices are of different varieties that are all quite simple and safe for use.


A figure-eight belay device has two metal rings about an inch in diameter joined in the shape of an 8. A loop of rope is passed through one of the rings, then around and under the other ring.

The ring without the rope is connected to the belayer’s harness with a locking carabineer. When tightly secured, the rope bends up to 490-degree angle in the few inches of space, making it almost impossible to move.

postheadericon Climbing harness

Climbing Harness

A climbing harness is a piece of equipment used in certain types of rock-climbing, abseiling or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access and/or safety (eg industrial rope access, working at heights, etc.). A harness is used to secure a person to a piece of rope or an anchor point of some kind.

In its simplest form a harness can be fashioned from a length of rope or a nylon tape sling tied round the waist and attached to the rope, usually by means of a carabiner. More sophisticated harnesses exist in many different patterns, designed to give greater comfort and security, and to provide more options for carrying equipment.

There are three main kinds of harnesses.

Sit Harness

A sit harness comprises a waist belt and two leg loops which are normally connected in the front of the hips either through a permanent webbing loop (sometimes called a belay loop) or through the use of a carabiner.

These harness are the most commonly used for recreational activities such as abseiling or rock-climbing as a wide range of movement is afforded whilst still maintaining a good level of safety.

Chest Harness

A chest harness is worn around the shoulders. These harness are not used on their own, but normally in conjunction with a sit harness so as to provide an additional attachment point further up the body. This additional attachment point can prove valuable in some circumstances as it allows for better balance when carrying a heavy pack (as the centre of mass is well below the connection to the rope) or where the person in the harness may be unable to maintain an upright position (due to injury or other influences).

Full-body Harness

A full-body harness is most commonly used in industrial/rescue situations. In essence is it the combination of a sit harness and a chest harness which are permanently or semi-permanently connected to each other. These harnesses normally offer a very extensive range of attachment points allowing for safe positioning in a number of positions.

Whilst these harnesses can be improvised as mentioned earlier, it is recommended that a commercially produced harness be used wherever possible. This is because there are stringent guidelines surrounding the manufacture of harnesses, and as such a store-bought harness is safer and often more comfortable than an improvised one.