Hank Fletcher

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since Oct 11, 2016
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Recent posts by Hank Fletcher

Trace Oswald wrote:One experiment I want to try is building an insulated box around my bed with just enough room to sit up in.  I think body heat alone would keep it comfortable.  You would need some kind of air exchange that wouldn't allow your body heat to escape too rapidly, but that shouldn't be too hard.

This is what I had set up to try last winter but right after finished I got 'called out' and spent the winter not even living at my house. See my other reply, if they post it up. I was going to wrap it with R60 all 6 sides and try to use only body heat and the heat from the light for the room and the heat from the laptop computer. I keep trying to get something which will require no outside heat source at all and like you I see the way of doing it is to build only what you livein and not any bigger. I do everything from a hammock, eat, sleep, cook use the laptop, etc all from the hammock. I just need to figure the way how to get the 10 foot hammock hang length so I have a nice comfort hammock setup. The 5 foot long room caused the hammock to not lay comfortably like 8-10 foot spread does.
2 months ago

Victor Skaggs wrote:

Hank Fletcher wrote: I knew I wanted to stay as much on pavement as much as possible and stay off the sidewalk.

My suggestion is that you find a dirt path or grass to run on. Pavement is hard and will wreck your knees, and do so even faster if you're barefoot.

At first the irregularities, pebbles, etc., will bother you, but one's feet become accustomed to that. I can walk over gravel and other surfaces on which other people cannot walk at all.

The hard paved surfaces are eroding your knees, I'm quite sure.

It kills your knees/hips/back because you are landing on the wrong part of the foot. Do some research on the right way to run/run barefoot and you could save yourself a ton of time/money/pain thanks to it.

When you land on the heel you send 4-5 times the body weight all the way up through the leg into the spine. First the force has to get through your ankle, then your knee, then your hip, before it hits the spine. Stop landing each foot on the heel and instead start landing each step on the ball of the foot. This lets your foot act as a shock absorber and removes the brunt force of the fall before it gets the chance to work its way up your body.  I notice a big difference between landing on the heel and the ball of foot. Right now I am trying to convert myself in band marching mode. Raise the knee at the outset of the step. This pretty much forces me to land with the ball of the foot and makes for a much softer landing which I do not notice unlike when I land on the heel and feel it come up through the body. The difference is incredible. I was doing it both walking and running this morning while I was out for my half mile barefoot walk/run on pavement.

Plus, as an added benefit right now most of the ground is covered in corn snow so I want nothing to do with trying to walk on that stuff.  I had three days last week walking on it and its not fun.  I would much rather walk on gravel than this darn corn snow. Can't wait until we get some fresh snow and then I'll go play in it but until we get a decent snowfall I will definitely stick to the pavement.
7 months ago
Hey Paul,

I saw this idea of yours back late last winter and I started thinking the concept through on my own situation where I have been trying to get myself to a point where I am using stray heat/body heat to keep my 'house' warm.

I had already cut back the amount of space I was heating as I haven't ever heated my whole house in the 20 years I have owned it. It's a 468 square foot shack. I never have heated more than half of it and kept the other half insulated off. Over the past four years I kept cutting back the amount of space I was heating. First attempt in 14/15, I believe, was to cut back only heating 48 sq ft with the walls wrapped in roughly R60 insulation. Nothing extra in the ceiling. It helped some but I started to realize it was too much space. After two years I dropped it back to 32 sq ft and made the door open bottom/up so I could trap the heat at the ceiling. I kept the R60, better wrapped this time around, on the walls and added R30 in the ceiling, still no insulation of any kind in the floor. The electric usage fell by close to 50%. The following winter I added R30 into the floor and noticed I had a nice draft on the floor right around the door. The room did seem warmer and used even less heat.

After seeing your posting last year I found myself one night laying in the hammock in the room and I started noticing how much space I was wasting. I knew it was crazy. I did most everything from the hammock, sleep, working on the computer, meal prep/eating meals, etc. Pretty much everything I did in the house other than going to the bathroom I did from the hammock. I made the measurements and decided why not. I was looking at 5-6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3.5 feet high. Upon doing some more measuring and calculating I knew I should be able to easily get away with dramatically shrinking the room down. Finally early to mid fall I took down the 32 sq ft room and replaced it with a 45-50 cubic ft room, half ways wrapped, all six sides, with R60 insulation, pink panther style not sheet insulation like I would like to use now. I knew my biggest problem would be air exchange, for sure.

Little did I know what the end of the year was going to bring for me. I have the room ready to be tested but thanks to a friend of mine running into health problems and having no family to take care of him I moved in with him on the last day of September and have not spent a night at my house since then. The room is ready to be tested, at least to the build extent thus far. Like I said I would love to change it over to sheet insulation to make everything much tighter.

Remember when it comes to  doing something like trying to heat smarter, heat the body, not the air. The easiest way to do this is to eliminate the amount of air which needs to be heated. Why heat the whole room to 50 degrees when you are using the computer in only a very small amount of space. If you want to further reduce the electric bill, heat the area you are using and not the whole room to 50 degrees. By some insulation and make a dummy room, its what I have been testing with for the past four or five winter now. I never realized exactly what I was attempting to do until I saw this message thread and then it hit me and made me look at a whole new way of building my own test room.
7 months ago
After having company showing up unexpectedly yesterday right about the time I was going to go outside for a short walk and maybe a small run as well I, instead, woke up this morning, quite early as normal, and finally looked at the scenario and said the heck with it. I knew I wanted to stay as much on pavement as much as possible and stay off the sidewalk. I knew the road should be fairly clean while the sidewalk would have the salt/sand on it which I think helped caused the blisters back on Friday. I knew that meant getting on the road before the traffic picked up so I head out around 5:30AM for a short .5 mile walk with a couple of short 100 feet or so stretches of unthinkable running. Definitely need a lot of work on the mental side of barefoot running, especially free willingly. . I can't except the idea of me running, yet alone barefoot running.

Before the first run stretch I was noticing one thing which really surprised me. I was able to feel the foot step at times and at other times I couldn't feel the foot step, aka forefoot vs heel. I even noticed the difference  on the short run stretches. I don't remember noticing anything like it on Friday afternoon. I think the lack of traffic, both lack of any vibration/noise from the traffic and the lack of distractions from the traffic, made the difference. I definitely realize it will take some big reprogramming of the mind to get the forefoot landing as the new norm.

The real problem I notice right now is the lack of walking availability in the house. I have several things I want to experiment with but in the house it is practically impossible as their isn't steps needed to get from one room to the other. Patience is the key. I think I will head out each morning for a short walk/run around the block as it is the most walking I see all day anymore.

I was surprised the feet felt good afterward. The only real trouble was the walk out to the road and back in from the road, especially around the sidewalk out by the road where the salt/sand lays on the sidewalk. I need to get use to that darn stuff:) The feet weren't even all that cold given the temperature was around 30 degrees. Sounds like the same, maybe a few degrees colder tomorrow morning.
7 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Hank Fletcher wrote:what would typically cause the blood blisters when you are walking barefooted?

The blood blisters were caused by doing more than the feet were able to handle. I participate in a number of barefoot running sites. Newbies frequently ask how they should get started. Those with a lot of experience say, "Start gradually, and transition slowly". I usually add, "even slower than you can imagine".

Okay, I'll bite, I have been looking all late last night and all morning this morning at some of the BR sites. I had to get across a busy stretch of road at one point on the two mile walk yesterday and ran across it at by the time I got to the other side I knew I just had an uh-oh moment(extremely positivie, not negative uh-oh moment). It was definitely the weirdest run I have ever experienced in my life, felt so good yet I knew it shouldn't.

I'll bite, if I were to have even thoughts, I'm hoping I don't, of getting into barefoot running, is it better to start out barefoot running or barefoot walking. Do you let the feet toughen up first before you start running or just start running from the get go. I know on one of the sites I saw it mentioned to avoid running on grass(granted with nothing but snow around here right now grass is not much of an option for a while:)) and instead train yourself by running on asphalt, and run fast not slow. So if the idea is to start small and build up do you start walking or start running first. I know I was shocked at the difference in speed between some grass I did find and the paved sidewalk I spent most of the time walking on yesterday. I couldn't believe the pick up in speed on grass. I never would have thought I would see that much of an increase in speed.
7 months ago
Amazing how things change and can change so quickly...

I think prior to a couple of days ago, maybe once I had walked on snow barefoot, maybe. Three out of the past four days I have walked on the lovely corn snow I have around my house. Not fun to say the least. I think I like gravel better:)

Today I decided to really try something new and different since it was right around the freezing point. I decided to go for a nice 2 mile sidewalk walk barefoot. I have walked rocky/rutted hiking paths on a few occasions in the past but I hadn't ever really tried any decent length pavement/sidewalk walking before. I thought I might find sand on the sidewalk from the town salting/sanding the sidewalks after so I wasn't surprised by it. I was surprised how easy it seemed to go on the feet. Granted all my recent activity, not in the past couple of years had been on the hiking trail which was not fun thanks to gravel in spots on the hiking trail.

I already had the idea about changing/watching the way you walk so I was putting focus on trying to always land toes first instead of heel first. By the time I got home I was starting to notice something occurring if I put my mind to it. I found myself using the knee to force the heel down at the end of the step. I was surprised to see how much I was paying attention to the way I was walking and was able to notice small nuances in my gait.

The other thing I found after I got home kinda surprised me and kinda didn't. I have several blood blisters on the ball of each foot. I also found the calluses on the heels had rubbed off, this didn't bother me any and actually I'm glad to finally have the calluses gone.

My question, a very poor question under the circumstances, what would typically cause the blood blisters when you are walking barefooted? I had in two spots on both feet, one right behind the big toe and the other one right behind the second toe.

I haven't did much of any barefoot walking, most of my life so this new for me and I don't have much in the way of calluses built up. I just started experimenting with the idea a few days ago and figured why not start with walking on snow first, be real crazy from the get go.
7 months ago

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:

Hank Fletcher wrote:Is it feasible, or just a silly idea I have.  Will you really get anything from it or is the seed to small in size to get anything from trying to sprout/microgreen small seeds?  It does seem like I always see everybody talking about using bigger seeds for sprouting.

They're the same size as radish seeds that I grow often... I'd recommend looking at Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days by Peter Burke.  He doesn't talk about growing lettuce, but I assume you could use his technique if you have an inexpensive seed source.

Well, saved seed from the summer is quite cheap seed.  I had been thinking about trying it, hence why I saved a ton of seed.  After the lettuce had bolted I just let it grow and harvested the seeds off for next year and then I got to thinking about trying sprouting them this winter for sprouts/microgreens.  Someone I talked to questioned whether since the seed was so small if they would even amount to anything.  I haven't tried but since I do see it appears I am working with an heirloom variety I may give it a shot and see if I can sprout them and get them to do anything or not.
10 months ago
Is it feasible, or just a silly idea I have.  Will you really get anything from it or is the seed to small in size to get anything from trying to sprout/microgreen small seeds?  It does seem like I always see everybody talking about using bigger seeds for sprouting.
10 months ago
in my case I don't mind not making the money from biking simply because I know more than likely when I die anything I have will end up going to to gov't, no one to leave it to.  I'm ot going to give the gov't anything.  If I don't have it I can't leave it to them.
1 year ago