Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hobo Halloween Costumes

Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought it would be a good idea to share come up with some costume ideas to share with you guys.  Halloween isn't about being flashy with the most expensive costume, its a time for you to break from the norm, get quirky and have a good time.   This can be done very cheaply.  My costume this year is about as cheap as they get.  Some people may not be confident enough to wear something like this, but I will wear it proudly.

Things you need:
Long sleeve coat/shirt
Needle + Thread
Tape/staple (optional)
Empty bottles, cans, card board and newspaper

I am going to be "Recyclable" for Halloween.  So I'm going to take the needle and thread and sew the bottles and cans to my clothing along my arms and legs, and maybe a few on my torso.  Then I will crumble up newspaper and staple/tape it to myself all over the place.  On top of that, I'm going to try and make some sort of helmet/mask out of a card board box.

This is a simple, cheap costume and I think I will get quite a few kicks out of it when I go to parties this weekend.

Well that is my costume for the weekend, what is yours?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to make a hobo heater or portable stove

Winter is just around the corner so I think its time to show you guys how to stay warm and make some warm food. This is a cheap stove that can be used as a heater/lantern as well.

Things you will need:
Empty paint can (or similar metal metal object)
Paper/cardboard (roll of toilet paper works well)
70% isopropyl alcohol
Metal/pot ban
Ceramic tile sticks or rocks

This is a very simple design that works very, but will get very hot and last a long time. So please make sure that you are using it outside, or in a place that can withstand the heat of the can.

Hobo Heater:
The first thing you need to do is pack your tin can full of toilet paper. This make take a whole roll or two depending on the can, and its okay to use really cheap TP. Next you need to add in the isopropyl. You want the toilet paper to be fairly damp. I suggest 4-5 ounces per roll that you stuffed in the paint cant. Simply pour it over the TP that is in the can. If you are using this as a heater the final step is to just light that bitch up. It will burn slow, but hot for around 3 hours.

Hobo Stove:
Do everything said above before starting here. All you really need to do now, is use ceramic pieces or rocks to hold a cooking pot/pan on top of the heater. You can't put the pot directly on the heater, or use a solid flat piece of tile because air needs to get into the top of the paint can. So tale 2-3 stick like pieces of rock/tile and place them on top of the paint can so there is a vent. Then you can put the pot/pan on top of the tile.

Here is a quick diagram of what it should look like when you cook three cheeseburgers for you and your poor college friends.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to make a hobo water filter

I shouldn't need to express the importance of drinking water, so lets get right to the chase here. Water has gotten expensive lately, and can cost over a dollar a bottle in stores, which is ridiculous. While in college I learned a decent amount about water chemistry, so I'm going to show you how to purify your water without needing to boil it. This is a multi-layered biological, mechanical and chemical filter.

Items you need:
-Plastic gallon or 2-liter bottle. Old milk jug will work great.
-Spare cloth or coffee filter
-Charcoal/Activated Carbon
-Access to the ground (you should all have this)

The first thing you need to do is cut the bottom out of your bottle. I don't have a camera on me so I can't show you mine, but it should look like this(minus the ball):

Now what you want to do is get a handful or two of gravel or small rocks. This size you want them about the diameter of a quarter, big enough so that they wont fall through the hole of the jug. Invert the jug like in the picture, and put the rocks in. Now get a smaller particle rock and layer them on top of the gravel size. The second layer should be about pebble size. The third layer should be a fine grain sand. The fourth layer, if you can get any, should be small pieces of charcoal or activated carbon. On top of that put a layer of sand, pebbles and gravel. So your jug should have a sandwich like this:

Fine Sand
Fine Sand

Once you have that, rubber band a coffee filter over the bottom of spout of the bottle. If you have a spare cloth, throw it over the top layer of gravel.

When this is all set up, you can pour rain/river/lake water or whatever water you want through the top of the jug (remember that the top is now the cut out bottom). As the water goes though the filter, the naturally bacteria on the ground matter will use the nutrients in the water for their own benefit and help clean it. The Charcoal will pull out all the chemicals from the water. The Coffee filter is a 1 micron mesh. That means it will catch small bugs and parasites that may be in the water.

Clean drinking water will come out of the other end, no boiling required. Be generous with the carbon if the water you use appears really dirty. A good sign of really dirty water is a foul smell or discoloration. You should be able to see the water clear up as it goes through the filter. This is probably the only thing that I learned in college that I actually put to good use so far.

That's all for now. If you have any more questions about how this works, feel free to ask.

Stay hydrated hobo's!