Sunday, February 16, 2014

Becoming MacGyver

Last Saturday, I got a chance to feel like MacGyver. You know, the guy who could blow open a door with some gum and a paperclip.
Yeah, this guy. Source.
My friend, Jen, and her boyfriend were giving a class on how to cheaply and easily make some pretty useful item. The class was mostly centered on making things out of cans, with one exception.

The exception was a Paracord bracelet. This was the first thing we made and was fairly easy to make. The idea of it is to pack in as much Paracord into the bracelet as possible. Paracord is actually pretty useful, especially when camping, hiking, or for survival purposes. You can use it for lacing up your shoes to using it as a tourniquet to unraveling the inner stings and using them as emergency stitches.

We made or were shown how to make a good number of items, but for me the Paracord bracelet and one other item stood out the most. Probably one of the most awesome things we made was a SuperCat stove. Again, it is something that is pretty easy to make and requires only a few materials. It required an empty, clean cat food can and a hole puncher to make. If you want a hotter fire, you punch in more holes. If you want the fire to burn longer but with less heat, you put in fewer holes. To make the fire, you just put in a little alcohol and light it on fire. It’s an incredibly lightweight stove that won’t take up much room in your backpack and costs a lot less to make than pretty much anything you’ll find on the market. We were able to boil a full pot of water over two of them and have tea at the end of class.

This was kind of a preview class and I was fortunate to be invited so I could learn the sorts of things they were teaching and give my opinions. Overall, the class was pretty good. This was a very basic class to figure out flow and the sorts of things that work and getting used to the space, but it was well done and I came home with some pretty nifty things that I got to make.

This is a popcorn maker
I’m excited to see what they are going to do for future classes and, from talking to them, am pretty excited for the other things they want to teach. They are currently working on a website for the MacGyver classes and I will update when it is up. In the meantime, if you would like to contact Jen about future classes, email her at

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