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Homestead uses for space age materials.

Our homestead is several miles from town and if I buy a pizza there it is always cold by the time I get home. We have a microwave to reheat the pizza but it seems to me that it never tastes as good as fresh baked.

My solution to this problem led to several other ideas,and ingenious homesteaders will probably think of even more.

I found some space age materials that have some very interesting properties. One of the materials is actually a sandwich of several. It is thin, lightweight, flexible, and offers some insulating properties, but more importantly it is designed to block long wave radiation or more simply, the flow of heat. The other material is a six millimeter plastic that has special spectral properties so it is also a heat blocker.

I used these two materials to construct a pizza pocket that holds two 15 inch pizzas and keeps them hot for at least three hours. Now we can go fishing and have a hot pizza later that day.

This worked so well we made a smaller container for carrying ice cream, which keeps it from melting even on a hot day.

After seeing how well these materials worked we then tested them on improving the efficiency of our ice chest. We found that when using the sandwich material as an inner liner we could reduce the daily ice consumption by at least half. Making our ice last twice as long saves not only money, but energy.

I then constructed a hood to fit over the outside of the cooler and found that we could reduce daily ice consumption even more. With using this system we can camp out all week and still have ice when we get home.

Then I thought this might also work to build a survival shelter. I came up with a three-sided hood with a door. It is 30[inches] x 30[inches] x 4[feet] and will sit a lawn chair. It has six inch flaps on the bottom that can be weighted down to provide more stability. The inner frame is designed to attach to the back of the lawn chair to add to its stability.

The material is flexible enough so that the collapsible inner frame can be rolled up in the material to produce a roll eight inches in diameter and 33 inches long. Total weight is a little over three pounds.

Because of the heat blocking properties of the material the structure is self heating from your own deflected body heat. Even a candle can make it quite toasty.

Following are just a few of the possible uses:

1. Use it when the power is off

2. Great shelter for homeless or during a national disaster.

3. Porta potty shelter when camping.

4. Ice fishing hut or hunting blind.

5. Keeps your backside warm when sitting around a wood stove, fireplace or campfire.

6. Makes a nice nook out of your favorite chair for that first hot cup on a winter morning.

7. Grandma always wants to sit in it when she comes to visit because our home is always colder than hers.

8. If the sidewalls were six feet long then it would make a good temporary structure to sleep in.

9. Without the inner frame it can also be used as an emergency cover for your deep freeze when the power is off during the hot summer.

10. Carry in your auto during the winter for emergency situations.

If the coming winter weather is going to be anything like the weather we had this summer, then it might be nice to have a couple of these shelter units around the old homestead.

Source: The only place I know of to buy these materials is Heat Blocker 9, P.O. Box 2717, Orofino, ID 83545.

Sandwich material: $1.00/square foot; six millimeter plastic: $35.00/square foot.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Countryside Publications Ltd.
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Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Cox, Lloyd M.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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