Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Do It Yourself!

The other day I was at my usual - spending time at the Supertopo virtual campfire.... Discussion moved to the topic of decent headlamps, and Werner Braun chimed in with a link to a site with instructions on the Ulitmate Night Vision Headlamp. Clicking the link, I just couldn't help thinking that at least a few of the guys weren't already headed off to their workshops, seeing if they had the goods on hand to create the thing right that moment.

Well, here in my NYC studio apartment, where my cafe table pulls double duty as a workbench and for many years my flat-headed screwdriver was a butter knife, I knew that I wouldn't be sporting a fine bit of homemade gear. Still, I took a look at the page and realized it seemed to be one of many "do it yourself" type of projects.

This DID intrigue me, as I have always appreciated craft, and even though I am not mechanically inclined, I do have some abilities in the realm of hand-mades. In fact, I recall, come to think of it, that last year I was really excited by seeing instructions to create a solar-powered oven, and how completely within my ability that would be. As I write this entry, I searched the site and - what do you know!? They have instructions on how to make a solar powered cooker!

The name of the site is, and it a just exactly that - a forum of people who have come together and created/posted detailed instructions on just about anything one might need instructions on.

Anyone can participate. You don't need to become a member to search the site with full access to whatever instructions you seek. The site is set up to allow comments, so you can get an idea on what others think about the project. Often people will comment on the clarity of the instructions, or point out any issues they feel would come up, so you aren't going in on blind faith that this stranger actually knows what they are doing and how to explain it properly.

On each listing, there are links to other, similar types of projects. And of course, each member has their profile page. If you like the thinking and ability to show work from one user, you can quickly get to see what else they have put up. On your own profile page, you can bookmark the instruction sets you were interested in.

I know that a lot of climbers are the type who enjoy science and craft, and enjoy having things that are unique and not this years model bought from a store. So, I thought some people would be interested to know about this place, whether to get ideas on their own projects, or to share with others about items they have already created.

Below are some of the listings I came across that would interest me.
Camper Van Conversion
Bicycle Paniers
Duct Tape Wallet
Home made Climbing Holds
Hobo Stove Made from Tin Can
How to Open a Pesky Pistachio Nut
Roof Top Car Camper
Simple Shelter in the Woods
Rope Made from Dead Plants
Snow Lantern
$10 Portable Air Conditioner

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