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I've been a backpacker for 53 years, and I still think this was a very good instructable! I especially like the idea of having a fresh change of clothes, and a snack that you might not find practical to stow in a back pack! Such an often overlooked, and very nice thing to come back to! I've never had a problem going out, or staying out, but always wonder, just why am I coming back?
Different thing altogether... sal ammoniac, or ammonia salts, are a dry, either block, or granules, and react quite differently to the cupric oxides. Apparently urine also has a different chemical make-up, that self alters over a few hours exposure to air, but we probably liked it primarily for the shock value, as well.
That's a good patina formula! A somewhat simpler one we use is to pee in a bucket of oak sawdust, and drop your fittings in to cover them; let it sit over night, or over a weekend, then pour the bucket out in the driveway, and hose it down, to retrieve your parts. Rustic, but it works, based on the natural ammonia in urine, interacting with the tanins in oak sawdust.