Editorial: Pulaski Firefighters' Axe.
Travel: Hideout gear tag.
Technology: Avionics V1 continued part 2.
Stationery: Library card and pocket.
Gadgets and gear: Leaf.
Books and writing: The Book part 2.
Project of the week: Eeears.

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EDITORIAL: Pulaski Firefighters' Axe

Those who work or venture into forests would be aware of the dangers of a forest fire, which in some areas can move very quickly. Ed Pulaski was a ranger in the U.S. Forest service during the fierce 1910 fires in Idaho. Using his knowledge of the area and the dynamics of forest fires he saved all but five of forty-five firemen. He ordered his men to go to a mine shaft and lie face down to get access to the little oxygen that was left. He himself suffered injury. He devoted his time after that to caring for the graves of those that had died, and to lobby for a memorial to the firefighters.

However, his greatest gift for those that followed was the invention of what became known as the Pulaski Axe, designed for forest firefighters. A combined axe and adze, the Pulsaki axe could be used to chop wood, dig roots and dig trenches. The axe became standard issue for forest firefighters.

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Barebones Living has introduced its version of this tool. It is made from carbon steel and has a Beech wood handle.

It is strengthened by a steel rod in the handle that holds the head in place, preventing it from flying off during use.

A leather sheath is included.

PD would recommend that you carry one if you venture into the wilderness, particularly into forests.

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TRAVEL: Hideout gear tag

Labeling bags is important, although in this era of identity theft PD recommends writing just the minimal amount of information, such as only a phone number. There are a lot of tacky tags around. The Everyman Hideout gear tag is simple, sturdy and looks great.

It is small (but not too small), measuring 55x33x4mm, and is made out of stainless steel.

There are three colours to choose from.

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TECHNOLOGY: Avionics V1 continued part 2

The sensational Avionics V1 electric bike was featured in PD: Cool Things issue 142. In issue 144 PD discussed the unique frame which included a leaf spring.

Avionics has issued another update, on the electricity supply. The bike is powered by a 24Ah lithium ion battery. The battery is split into two - part of it is in the frame and the other part sits in the wooden shaft.

Pair the bike up with the optional 12 amp supercharger, which has a great retro look but its insides are all high tech (the standard charger is 8 amp). Avionics claims that this will charge the battery in under two hours.

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STATIONERY: Library card and pocket

In the era before bar codes and scanners, books in lending libraries had library cards in pockets on the inside of the front or back cover. If you wanted to borrow a book the librarian would stamp a due date, using a rubber date stamp and ink pad.

You can still buy library cards and pockets. Perhaps it may encourage friends who "borrow" your books to return them.

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When humans are out and about they just reach for a drink bottle when they get thirsty, but what about your four-legged friend? This is where the Leaf comes in. The leaf is made from food grade silicone. It fits over any bottle. When your four-legged friend is thirsty simply turn it up and you have a water bowel and a happy friend.

A simple and practical accessory to have with you, especially in the summer months.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: The Book part 2

After last week's write-up PD thought that he would give a few more details about this book. PD has decided to relent after last week's tease about the link between the introduction of paper and the shortage of underwear. The Chinese invented the method of pressing vegetable fibres into paper. When paper finally reached Europe, and production was started in 1150, the paper makers used linen rags from worn out clothing, commonly underwear. As demand for paper grew, linen rags grew in short supply. It was not until the mid 1800s that wood pulp was used for making paper. The book itself gives a fascinating account of these developments.

The next section of The Book details the history of writing, from the use of a stylus for cuneiform writing, to brushes and ink in hieroglyphics, to the use of a pen and ink. Keith Houston also tells the history of the development of inks and explains the different properties of various inks and the underlying chemistry. The inks that we use today had their foundation in ancient times. We learn that invisible ink, so favoured by children and spies, was known in the ancient world, and in fact gave us modern ink. There are of course politics and personalities involved in all this, so brilliantly set out by the author.

To be continued.

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When it comes to cleaning ears there are few good solutions. Most people use cotton buds, however health authorities do not recommend these as they tend to push wax further in, onto the eardrum.

The people behind Eeears have come up with a better solution.

Eeears are made from medical grade silicon, so they are soft, and they will not push onto the eardrum. Simply put one into your ear and twist. They are easily washed in water and therefore are re-usable, avoiding the waste of cotton buds.

Contact Prowling Dog at

Contact Prowling Dog at

Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2017 Prowling Dog