Category Archives: General Talk

Backyard Wildlife and an Epic Bird Invasion

I am going to share an incredible story with you. Any story should start at the beginning, so let’s start there.

flock-of-collared-doves-lake-mead-nra

It is probably a good guess that most people who live in urban and suburban areas don’t pay much attention to wildlife in their neighborhoods, which are mostly birds. After living in my house for a few years, I was one of those people. But it wasn’t always that way. When I first bought my house in 1979 there were few neighboring houses. Our tract has nearly 2,000 lots, the smallest being around 10,000 square feet. In 1979 more than 80% of the lots were vacant. A few minutes’ walk from the house is open desert; thousands of vacant acres. During those first few years there was plenty of wildlife to observe – birds (especially road runners and mourning doves), jack rabbits, a plethora of lizards, a variety of snakes to include rattlesnakes, and of course coyotes to control wildlife population. Then the building boom during the 80’s, 90’s and thru the present left less than 5% of vacant lots. House and fences replaced most of the wildlife. There wasn’t as much to watch and I was busy with work, backpacking, and camping. Now that I am retired, there is more time to watch what wildlife remains.

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Money, Andrew Skurka, and Me

My Website Now Has Ads

adsJust got back from an extended camping trip in the desert in Nevada and my website had a bunch of “ping-backs” from this post by Andrew Skurka.

A ping-back is when another website refers a reader via a link. Andrew was very complementary about this website and Dave Chenault’s Bedrock and Paradox as blogs with some quality content, although not a lot of content, and both sites are not monetized; that is they do not generate income.

I want to clarify this and state again as I did on October 16th, that popupbackpacker.com now incorporates affiliate marketing, which generates a small amount of income for me.

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Camping & Camper Stuff We Use

A little over 3 years ago I compiled a list of the Backpacking Gear I Use. Several people have asked me to put together a similar list for camping with our trailer. What follows is a listing of most of the camping gear and equipment we use and most items can be found on Amazon and qualify for free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member.

There are a few things that we used with our tent trailers and aren’t appropriate for our Milan 26RLS  dual axle trailer, but I have included them because I would use them if we ever bought another tent trailer.

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popupbackpacker.com now has ads :(

Yeah, I know…

Here’s the deal. I built this site over 4 years ago mainly to let my kids and a few friends know what I was up to. This eliminated the need for phone calls, emails, and texts. Over time the site grew. Part is my fault because on the two Internet forums I visit I would sometimes just link to a post here instead of typing in a lengthy response. However, 80% of the traffic comes from search engines like Google. To date there have been over 1.5 million page views.

Now I am retired and on a fixed income. I have enough to live well enough, but this site costs money to maintain. Yearly fees for a domain, service hosting fees, and some licenses to make the software work properly especially on mobile devices. I am hoping I can generate around $20 per month to cover the operation of the site.

But I want to be completely honest about the ads and tell you how they work.

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VIAIR 88P Portable Air Compressor

It’s surprising that most people don’t carry a portable air compressor in their vehicle. Especially these days when gas stations no longer have free air and the pay for air stations that replaced it usually don’t work. I always carry a portable air compressor due to Murphy’s Law: when some can go wrong, it will. Especially when you are towing a trailer miles and miles away from cell phone coverage.

In the past the air compressors that lie in wait in the back of the SUV have been inexpensive mostly plastic affairs. They work for a year or two then die. When our 2006 Niagara tent trailer was vandalized and totaled by our insurance company, I had placed the air compressor in the trailer during the tire debacle. It was stolen too.

picture from the VIAIR website
.       picture from the VIAIR website

When we bought our new Milan in 2013, I decided to get the highest quality air compressor for the most reasonable price, which means Amazon is my best friend. When towing the trailer there would now be 8 tires to maintain. The VIAIR 88P had nearly 1,000 reviews on Amazon with a score of 4.6 out 5. It has been used for three years and this June I really put it through a hard test. It passed with flying colors.

 

 

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