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Messages - HOOP

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Tents and Shelters / Re: DIY Winter Bivy plans - need your help!
« on: November 18, 2017, 11:44:33 am »
Good project Marko!  The bivy bag design can always be improved.

My #1 advice would be to make it generously oversized beyond the maximum loft of you bag so that as you move, a bellows effect will happen and pump air in and out.  Any moisture-laden air not yet frosted has a chance to exit. Frost that is inside the bivy surface also has a chance to sublimate if dry air is being pumped in. It also allows for an extra generous air space to allow that moisture to keep traveling out of the sleeping bag free and clear before it hits the cold inner bivy surface and turns to frost.

On my Integral Designs "Bugaboo Bivy" model, the zip entry is on top, and only 1/3 to 1/2 the length, but I wish it was about 3/4 length to allow easier entry and exit to the sleeping bag. 

I like the bivy's top zip design because the bag forms "bathtub" sides to the sleeping bag so it will protect the bag from any snow, boughs or dirt, and since my sleeping bag zip is along the side, it blocks any air drafts.  When its very warm and I have to zip open the sleeping bag to vent heat and leave it zipped open, the bathtub wrap of the bivy keeps me warm enough while still letting the heat and moisture out of the bag.

Thanks Marko!

h_t wrote:
sorry if missed it, what wax do you use?

Hi h_t.  For the glide wax, I ironed on a Vauhti glide wax -8 to -25C on tip and tail. For the fish scales kick pocket, I used Swix Easy Glide liquid.

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Vertical stove pipe, sparks and pipe length
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:17:47 pm »
Brilliantly simple design on the baffle!  Totally adjustable for tuning the draw.  I like it!

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Made False bottom for new Knico Alaskan Stove
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:15:05 pm »
Nicely done Jscudds and Marko!

Start of winter and time to hot wax the backcountry skis with glide wax on tip and tails, and to treat the kick zone scales with Easyglide wax.  In this video I show my method of hot waxing skis, but please note I am not a pro ski technician, so this is not a "how-to", it's just the way I do it. For an accurate how-to instructional video, please watch/listen to the pros who do this for a living.

I also show my home-made DIY ski vice, which was designed for narrow track skis and wide backcountry skis, fully adjustable. This is the same ski vice that is pictured in the e-book above under Backcountry Skiing/Waxing and Waxless.

For this type of work and ski base repair jobs, I think it is important to have the skis secured in a vice so that you have hands free to work on the skis efficiently, and the skis don't bounce around.  A ski vice can be purchased from ski stores if you don't want to make your own. Mine is heavy and not portable, so its meant for home base. It was cheap and relatively easy to make with basic tools (drill, electric jigsaw, hand saw, chisel, hand clamps, and common hardware store hardware).

Now if I could pry myself away from my computer and get out of the city, it's time to get out into the backcountry for some skiing!

Trip Reports / Re: Bathurst Inlet April/May 2017
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:25:35 am »
AWESOME TR Arcticmag!  Heavy duty winter camping at its finest.

What an amazing job you have! 

I have twice paddled into Bathurst Inlet from the Burnside River, ending my trip at the lodge for pick up by float plane. Its good to see some of that amazing landscape in the hard water season.   

Sleds and Toboggans / Re: HDPE toboggan build thread
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:13:27 am »
Nice looking toboggan build TZBrown!   Some neat ideas there I may borrow one day!

I linked your photo from the second link for the question below:

From jscudds:
great info thanks,...I think i was unclear by referencing the  second slat,.... i meant the pulling slat.

But,  I like how you put the very very front slat on the outside (bottom side) I was thinking of doing this but prior to oiling the wood burning and etching my last name in the maple.

Any tips on how far down the curve to put the pulling slat?

Hi Jscudds, that is a good question.  For the pull bar, I have always used the first bar on the flat of the toboggan behind the front curl on all of my toboggans, with the theory that I wanted the force at the lowest level in order to pull the front up just a bit to reduce friction initially.  But I notice most people raise the level of pull like TZB shows in his photo above, and I am now beginning to question my theory on the pull angle.  I am now leaning to the design something closer to what TZB shows.  The angle of pull is still up slightly, but its flatter than what I have been using, and perhaps that flatter pull angle is more efficient.

I need to make some mods on my toboggan.

Hi folks,
We are in the process of changing web hosts, and looking into new IT technical services. The deal is not yet done with the new prospective hosting company, so stand by for news on that.  One of the items on the TO-DO list, by VERY popular demand by you the membership, is to see if this website can host all your posted photos, with a user-friendly upload method directly into a post from your hard drive.  There will be a business cost to absorb for that, if the hosting company can change our software to do that, and we will see how we can raise money to support the new costs of the website. (Working on a "Donate" button).  Stand by for news soon on these developments.

We all know now that Photobucket, a formerly free photo sharing website (no more) that many of us used, cut all the links, and ruined many photo posts.  I was on Photobucket. I am not paying their new $399 USD for an annual membership to get their new service.   >:(

I signed onto, which offers free photo sharing accounts, and uploaded some photos there, and found it easy (once I got used to their screens), to copy-paste the BB code option (they give you 4 options of URL linking codes), into a Notepad screen, separate out the IMG tags wrapped around the actual photo location, and then copy that clean code wrapped in IMG tags and paste into a thread post, without all the rest of the gobbledygook code string. 

Flickr automatically wraps the IMG tags so you don't have to use the little Mona Lisa "insert images" button to wrap the location with IMG tags. 
There are other free photo share websites that offer similar services.   But now we know none of them are a guarantee long term.

I plan to do a screen grab how-to tutorial on that using Flickr, and once that is done, then delete all the old instructions for how to post photos.
The long term goal is to host photos here securely, and not rely on the middleman who can cut our links at any time. 

RECOMMENDATION:  Always compose your photo post thread in a word processing file, insert all the URL's wrapped in IMG tags, and save it to your hard drive.  Also insert a copy of your photo filename location on your hard drive so you can find it again.  Then copy-paste it into the thread post here.  Then delete the hard drive photo filenames in the thread post.  If the share links are cut in the future by the photo-sharing website, you have your document, and can restore the photo posting by replacing the URLs with your new photo location storage site.

Hi folks,
Sleddawg has a big stash of patches and stickers ready to ship, and they make great gifts and stocking stuffers, and that season is fast approaching! (uh...its here!).  All proceeds go to funding the website.

The old "how to purchase" method is disconnected, and I am in the process of creating a new Paypal system. No worries if you don't have a Paypal account, you can use your credit card on the system (if all works out like I am planning).  The system says I have to wait 24-48 hours to confirm the new settings I set (sigh...).
Stand by for an update in a day or two.  In the mean time, feast your eyes on these from the previous batch (stay tuned for confirmation of appearance of the stash Sleddawg has):



Vendor's Forums News / Vendors Forums: Welcome to Snowtrekker Tents!
« on: November 04, 2017, 04:18:21 pm » is proud to announce the addition of Snowtrekker Tents to our Vendors business forums!

Snowtrekker Tents almost needs no introduction to our Forums here, being in the business of manufacturing of one of the most well-used and best-loved range of canvas hot tents on the market for 20 years and counting.  Snowtrekker Tents, stoves and accessories, are owned by many members of the forums here, and are featured in photo trip reports, videos, and increasingly are commonly seen as the hot tent being used in documentary films and videos from winter adventurers around the world. 

Please visit Snowtrekker Tents website at

Welcome to Snowtrekker tents as a Vendor Forums business member!



Vendor's Forums News / Vendors Forums: Welcome to Bothwell Voyageur!
« on: November 04, 2017, 01:26:32 pm » is proud to announce the addition of Bothwell Voyageur to the Vendors Forums business membership!  Based in Manitoba, BV is well known to the forums here, being an avid and accomplished winter trekker who has posted many trip reports and videos, including showing his finely made gear in action.  BV's company is CanoePaddler, website link here:  Check out his website store for not only the fine winter camping gear, but year-round gear for back packers, hikers and paddlers. 

Welcome Bothwell Voyageur to the Vendors Forums!

Vendor's Forums News / Vendors Forums: Welcome to Lure of the North!
« on: November 02, 2017, 09:54:55 pm » is proud to announce that "Lure of the North" has joined our vendor business forums. 

Lure of the North is owned and operated by Dave and Kielyn Marrone, and their company specializes in guided traditional winter travel, crafts and skills, as well as summer guided canoe trips, and other custom outdoor activities that take customers into the back country. Please check out their website for detailed information on the spectacular outdoor adventures they take customers on into the back country of northern Ontario and beyond, plus courses and craft workshops they conduct in not just where they live, but in planned traveling workshops in various locations. Plus their store with featured products, DIY kits, clothing, equipment, craft supplies, books and maps, etc.

Their website is beautifully set up to see everything they have to offer for guided trips, gear, workshops, videos and goes on and on.  Dave and Kie have given several presentations at several the Annual Winter Camping Symposiums, and are symposium favourites - we all wish we were along on their guided trips when watching their videos and photography.

Please feel free to start a conversation with Dave and Kie in the LOTN Forum, or off line using the PM function.  I know Dave and Kie are extremely busy now at the beginning of the winter season.  Moccasins and mukluks and other clothing have to be made, gear tuned up, routes scouted and researched, tripping food prepared, snowshoes laced, logistics planned, etc.  So please be understanding if Dave and Kie cannot get back to you right away.   ;)

Great Photos HOOP, one question, what fabric did the best in the tests? Maybe one natural and one synthetic!

Hi ANDN!  There were so many fabrics and tests I forget exactly. 
For the "data", I would direct you to Jon and Michael M who lead the seminar and did the research.  I forget their username's here, but Michael's Winter Works website and Facebook links are:    and

Its also complicated by the fire retardants applied.  A fabric used for tents will have a different chemical applied than one not used for tents, due to the regulation.  Clothing fabric may have another chemical retardant.  Michael and Jon did the research and explained it well, but I forget the specifics.  I seem to recall that one of their light fabrics was specially treated for very high fire resistance, but I can't recall if it was the best, nor if it was a natural blend or synthetic?

If I recall correctly, the green blanket wool did extremely well with the coal test, as we would expect. I don't know if that wool was treated, but I seem to remember M or J mentioning that processed woven wool is naturally fire resistant.  The silnylon did surprisingly well. Eventually it melts, and under the direct flame test, it will eventually start burning with a flame, but I was surprised at how long it resisted.  For treated tent cotton they tested a 10 oz sunforger canvas, and it performed very well as expected, resisting the coals and direct flame reasonably well. I don't recall a 6 or 7 oz sunforger being tested, but my memory fails.  Another surprise was the tent clear window vinyl material for both the open flame and coal test. I would have guessed instant burn hole from a coal, but no, it resisted fairly well, maybe because it is a thick material and can absorb and transfer some heat away.

Every fabric burned rather fast on the stove top simulation, but it may have been a hotter surface than a real stove, because that sheet metal was actually in the fire, without cooler air around it, so it may have represented a stove edging into the red hot surface temperature zone, instead of a toast yer bagel level of heat.   

Once the synthetic fabrics, and natural cotton fabrics treated with retardants started smoldering and burning, with all those petrol-chemical fumes and fire retardant toxic fumes, I had to back away for fresh air because it was acrid smoke.  Lesson: don't breathe the air around your burning clothing and tent!   :)
I did not take notes on all the different fabrics, so I am at a loss.  Overall I recall thinking that if someone could invent an ultralight wool tent fabric that repels water, is light, folds down very small, then that would be the miracle fabric we have all been dreaming of, and no nasty chemical fire retardant treatment would be necessary.  Somehow I think ultralight tent-grade miracle wool is a ways off yet in the R&D department.   :)

14 is proud to welcome our first Vendor's Forum business member:  Empire Wool and Canvas Company,   

Owner of EW&CC, Kevin Kinney, will be moderating the forum. You can talk directly to Kevin who designs and manufactures a superb line of outdoor clothing, ideally suited to winter camping and traditional winter trekking, as well as the shoulder seasons. Many members here on own and use EW&CC clothing, and its commonly seen in photos and videos being used on winter treks.  The clothing has proven itself in the toughest of winter conditions, and many of the designs are at home in the city as well.  We encourage you to visit the EW&CC website to learn more about the clothing they offer, and please feel free to start a conversion with Kevin here in the EW&CC forum, , or off-line using the PM function.

15 is proud to announce that we have created a new space in our community for  Vendor’s Forums.  This was long overdue.  All of us here are focused on gear and clothing, for the essentials of staying warm, sheltered, traveling across the snow and ice landscape, and staying safe.  We talk about it, think about it, dream about it constantly, and it makes sense to have the manufacturers and outfitters of gear here in the community to chat with everyone about and promote their products that serve everyone in the community.

Vendors forums, if we can grow them across a diversity of businesses, will allow us to interact directly with the real people in the outdoor gear and outfitting industry who design and make the gear, and who outfit and lead winter trips, and who produce films and books about our shared passion of being outside and living well in the winter back country.  The Vendors forums will facilitate the conducting of business deals between the membership and the vendors, which is a win for everyone.  Its also a very cool way to stay up to date on what's going on in the winter camping and outdoor industry.

The PM (personal messaging) function is a way to take detailed discussions and finalizing business deals off line, and we encourage membership to use this function.

Vendors are very busy running their businesses, and its one more thing in their busy day to take the time to participate here, so it is a privilege to have them here.  As with all our forums, the Management asks that all discourse is respectful, polite, and constructive, adhering to the language guidelines suitable for a family website.

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