Steps Forward, Backwards, Forward

Thank goodness I have this time to prepare. I am needing every day.

Last night in the tent was better but not a success. I got some sleep but by 4:30 I was cold enough to come back inside. Today we exchanged the sleeping bag for one rated down to 20 degrees, the coldest rated they had without paying a whole lot more money. I also bought a set of thermal underwear and I think I’ll keep one of those hand/feet warming packets on hand. We’ll see how it goes tonight. There was frost on the ground this morning and more of the same is expected tonight so it will be a good test. 

I made a beer can stove today and it works fine with the alcohol I bought yesterday. Now all I need is a lightweight pot. Who would think you can make a stove out of a can but it works well, the price is right, and the alcohol is cheap and readily available. If you try this though, use 95% alcohol or the highest you can get. The first time I did this I used 70% and it didn’t work. I have 91% here and it took a couple tries to light but then it did well.  instructions on how to make a stove

This afternoon I figured I’d make a run to Home Depot for a couple things and then stop by the supermarket but when I got out my bike, the rear tire was flat. *sigh*. I just put on those fancy super quality tires and this? So, I proceeded to change the tube and found I couldn’t even begin to get this stiff, new tire off the rim. Plan B – we went to the supermarket in the car. 

I figured I’d enlist the help of my son-in-law later, but my daughter mentioned there must be a way and I shouldn’t give up so quickly. What if this happened on the road? YouTube has help for everything so I did some research and found this It explains how to change a bike tire without tire levers which I didn’t manage, but it helped enough that I did manage to get the tire off which was great! 

When I saw the tube I realized what happened. There are small depressions on the wheel where the spokes connect, and I have had problems before with the tubes blowing out over these depressions. When you figure my new tires take a lot more pressure than the ones I used to use, I suppose it’s no surprise that this could happen. The bike guy in David fixed my front wheel by wrapping electrical tape around the wheel, and I haven’t had any problems since. So, I did the same to the rear wheel, put in a new tube, and replaced the tire. These stiff new tires are a challenge to get on too. Drew had to help me before and even he found it challenging. YouTube to the rescue again. I used the tire lever as instructed and was so excited when the tire went back on the rim that I almost woke up the baby!

So, that is where things stand today. If tonight goes well and I stay warm enough to sleep, that will be a big problem solved. The other things are only little odds and ends that can be dealt with at any time. One more day closer to liftoff. 


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Steps Forward, Backwards, Forward

  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    Gotta have the proper tools. A set of tire “spoons” available at that great bike store is a must-have. The don’t weigh but a couple of ounces and the don’t take up hardly any room. By the time you get back to Panama you’ll be able to swap out tire tubes in under five minutes, I bet.


    • Yep, I always carry tire levers and a spare tube or two, and I have changed tires enough times but when they are new and very stiff, it can be quit a challenge for me. Hopefully I won’t have any more trouble but with these tricks, I think I can handle an emergency.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. indacampo says:

    I hope you get a better rest tonight. Night, night. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joyce says:

    Awesome stove! I might just have to try that and cook out by the pool…roughing it my style!


  4. Love the stove…and my kind of price, too. Sleep well mi amiga. Hope you stay toasty warm.


  5. ME BE in Panama says:

    You’re amazing and inspiring Kris. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.


  6. Carole says:

    Looks like you are getting closer. It is really good your daughter lives there so you can do all the trial runs with your tent and gear. But you are getting well prepaired for the trip, you should do real well once you are on the road. Safe travel.


  7. How great to have so much time to prepare, you will be so ready! I wouldn’t think your camping experiences will be nearly as cool at night as they are in Seattle…you’ll probably wonder what you were thinking brininging long underwear! Hah! Safe travels Mi Amiga!


    • That’s wonderful news! You know how I hate to be cold. I figured it would get warmer as I make my way south, so I can probably ditch the long underwear at some point, and maybe poke my head out of the sleeping bag. Thanks amiga 🙂


  8. ME BE in Panama says:

    What a learning curve, you’re a courageous one. Maybe there’s a book at the end of your trek?


  9. Seems like you are well organised and smart you are trying out the sleeping arrangements before hand!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s