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Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by Bolster, Dec 19, 2011.
I'm pretty handy with the blade of grass method
I have nevver been able to mkake that work
Update: A second straw tube of bleach, prepared as I show in my video and tested after completion for leaks (the finger press test), has now failed on me, developing a tiny hole that leaked a little into one of my survival tins about a month after it was made. The damage was minimal, but I've now completely given up on using standard straws for holding liquid bleach. I'm sticking to the glass perfume/cologne vial I mentioned, only. Also, this time, I am dead sure the tube was never exposed to freezing temperatures or summer heat glove box temperatures either, whereas the previous one that leaked I was only pretty sure. This 2nd one was kept indoors its entire life and never left a room temperature environment.
Am I the only one who uses the one who uses the straws to carry spices, when backpacking. I know it is an EDC site, and I do EDC cotton/petroleum jelly straws in my 'Altoids' tin(mine is really a Dante's Inferno Balls tin) but the discussion has veered towards B.O.B. gear, and if that is what we are talking about it seems I'm the only one to have a 'spice tin'.
Basically, an 'Altoids' tin filled w/straws, filled w/spices. It is the difference between bland camp food and a delicious meal. And if you want to get really hardcore about your campsite cooking you can buy empty gel caps at co-ops or online, fill them with spices you only use a pinch of here and there(white pepper, cayenne, saffron etc.) and use a straw cut at a bias to scoop it out. Store your gel caps in a waterproof container and you can make good food with little extra weight.
Use the straws for spices you use more of, salt, pepper or whatever. Basically, you can carry more spices than you will use on a thru-hike in your tin. To hell with WD40. Give me some tasty dinner.
How many of you are old enough to remember how drinking straws used to crack, like if you were playing around and stuffing one into another to make a long chain, as a kid, back in the 70's/80's ? That was when they were made of polystyrene plastic, however the modern day version which almost never split open or crack are PP, polypropylene or plastic #5 on the triangle recycling label (not that straws have that marking on them). This is my current working theory, at least, based on things like this from wikipedia:
"Polypropylene is becoming favored over polystyrene for manufacturing plastic drinking straws as polystyrene is brittle and tends to crack easily. Polystyrene is also denser than water, causing straws to sink when placed into beverages. Polypropylene straws, by contrast, are much more durable and do not sink."
Today I think I have finally hit pay dirt in trying to reasearch why bleach isn't working. Check it out:
Chemical Resistance of Polypropylene
"Another related mechanism is Environmental Stress
Cracking (ESC). Although ESC is often described as
a chemical attack, it is a very complex combination
of plasticizing, migration, low level stress and
mechanical failure initiated by exposure to specific
classes of liquids, primarily surfactants (soaps).
ESC is a failure mechanism frequently experienced
with PE. Unlike PE, PP is not susceptible to ESC in
its strictest definition. Exposure to certain fluids,
such as bleach (hypochlorites), causes a failure in
PP that resembles ESC and is often described
accordingly. However, the failure is caused by the
strong oxidizing effect of the bleach that causes the
PP to degrade and fail"
http://www.lyondellbasell.com/techlit/techlit/Tech Topics/General/Chemical Resistance.pdf
I carry bleach, lots of uses, just the right sized dose for cleaning and disinfecting the water filter, and pump.
I shold try to do something of this...
Could be cool to port some food condiments, salt, pepper and so.
Tinder, or headache medicine.
Usually body gel, salve, gel deoderent, and tinder.
My straw mods video:
If for some reason the embedded version above isn't working, search www.youtube.com for:
"Plastic Straws Mods for Survival Kit Use"
Much thanks to everyone who contributed.
I like that guy's videos. His voice is so calm. I want to employ him to read me bedtime stories.
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Hey guys hope it's not bad etiquette to resurrect this thread from the dead however using the search I couldn't find any other threads on strawtubes!
Looking seriously at adding these to the various models in my EDC and USK kits, awesome stuff MZIL et al!
So, I'm thinking...
FAK: Apple Cider Vinegar, Isopropyl, Benedryl, Neosporin
Tool Kit: White glue, Bleach (Will experiment with straws and then use alternative vial if they fail), Vaseline, Mineral oil, Isopropyl, Mini sewing kit, Mini fishing kit
Personal Care: Sunscreen, Dr Bronners Castile Soap (Awesome stuff), Washing up liquid, ACV (mouthwash, spot treatment, astringent, etc) Sodium bicarb, Vaseline, Toothpaste
Food: ACV, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Chilli Powder, Herbs (Sage, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary)
Fire Kit: Matches and Striker, PJCB
Anyone got any more ideas of stuff that would be super useful to carry?
Also big question, can anyone on the forum recommend any particular straws I can find in the UK???
Thanks for the ideas, have to try a few of those now.
Just made my first straws the other day which contains a dried and ground herb harvested from my garden for use as a styptic/stiptic powder i.e. in case of cuts that I need to stop or slow the bleeding, small enough amount for single use. Used my label maker with a clear label tape and smallest font to create a label but still need to cover with clear sticky tape as the labels don't stay on very well even with some overlap.
Bought some clear bubble tea straws off of ebay (chose a seller with free shipping) which have a large enough diameter (1.1cm) to allow for standard sized capsules, making some more straws with activated charcoal capsules which I always have in my bag. If you wanted just a couple of larger diameter straws you could probably grab some straws from a bubble tea/juice bar or somewhere that sells the frozen drinks (slurpees/slushees).
Otherwise depending on the reason for carrying bleach i.e. small scale water purification? perhaps carry water purification tablets instead and see if anything else in your kit can cover the other intended uses for bleach.
Have not seen Dr Bronners soap in Australia.
Have seen kits for hikers that included single use olive oil straws presumably for cooking.
You could try sugar, coffee, milk powder, tea leaves, stock (soup) powder. Thinking about trying burn gel/cream. Not sure how iodine carries in these but I carry single use sachets of this anyways. Anyone have thoughts on potassium permanganate or hydrogen peroxide in straws?
The plastic straws we use were meant to carry cold liquids to our mouths; they were never designed to take heat or be melted in any way so it's not impossible that they give off toxic fumes when the ends are melted. The makers can't be held responsible for such miss-use and they'd never tell us about it considering only .00000000001% of the population melts them like we do.
This is why I never consume the contents of anything I store this way. Maybe mouthwash or toothpaste I'd make an exception for since I only uses these straws on extremely rare, emergency situations only and I spit out 99.99% of toothpaste and mouthwash anyways [but there are always a few stray molecules lurking around no matter how well you rinse.]
When I first got into this I tested many compounds and found there were a few which although they seem fine the first day you seal them, over time things go bad. WD40 is a secret formula but many say a simple way to think of it is a mixture of petroleum distillates [think "like kerosene"] which is used as the dissolving part and oil which is the lubricating and water barrier part which remains once the kerosene like part evaporates away. I found that after a week's time the WD-40 test vial I had prepared deflated and seemed to have lost half its volume. I also noticed it had typical WD40 smell but never could tell for sure if that wasn't just that I had spilled some on the exterior. I suspect that was the kerosene part evaporating away through the process called "osmosis" [vapor penetration through a membrane], leaving behind the oily part. Isopropyl alcohol also deflated over many weeks, I assume due to the same process.
I discuss why bleach fails over time [carried largely to sterilize questionable water in an emergency] earlier in the thread. Hydrogen peroxide has a similar oxidation issue so I'd stay away from it. Use a glass perfume vial for these sorts of things.
edit to add: "Goof Off" adhesive remover also failed.
I use one to carry a single Lactaid pill which is then taped to a business card in my wallet.
When you buy them, each pill comes in a little paper packet. After a week in a wallet (mine's in my front pocket), that pill has been crushed into a powder inside that paper packet. The straw capsule provides enough rigidity to keep the pill intact. I tape it to a card so that the capsule stays put.
Dr Bronners soap has been in Australia for decades, usually available at 'health' food stores, either in stock or special order.
They are now officially distributed by Lateral Food, so they are available online, at reasonable prices (for Australia). They can be found at the standard drbronnner web address dot au
Lateral also has Dr Bronners liquid soap in little single-use sachets. I've gotten a bunch of these free with orders, I'm not sure how to order them separately.
P.S. Even DJs is carrying it now. And with the appropriate extra expensiveness added.
Wow, lots of ideas. I've only done Neosporin tubes.
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Salt, pepper, tabasco, sugar.
Great thread and nice collection of ideas. Keep them coming! I was playing around with making these again yesterday. It would make a nice insert inside a paracord fob made using the box knot. I'll post a pic later.
What's the verdict on how fresh / airtight these straw tube are? For example how long would instant coffee stay fresh? Is the plastic material oil permiable if filled with honing oil or alcohol?