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Messages - HOOP

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Northeast / Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
« on: May 08, 2017, 10:54:36 pm »
Hi folks,
Great discussion on weather and climate, which affects the snow and ice we all love here at discussion is now drifting to national and international politics.   :)   Because we do not have an environmental or political forum here, the thread is now locked. 

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / Evil snowmen car commercial - Funny
« on: January 21, 2017, 12:18:43 pm »
Not advertising for Nissan here, (although I owned a fine Nissan truck many years ago).  I saw this video ad for the first time and thought it was very funny.  "Return of the snowman"

Geez, they make winter look so evil. These ad people are definitely winter haters, not our type.   ;)
Warning: Snowmen are harmed in the making of this video....

I just received a brand new pair of Codet Big Bill pants from Egli's as a gift.  Ordered a size up (36 as I am a 34 waist (sometimes)) and they fit great in that regard.  Am planning on picking up a pair of suspenders too when the wife orders a few hanks of yarn from them soon.

They come with a 33" inseam, and I'm 5'5" 170lbs, so they are TOO LONG.  I knew I would have to hem them up before I could really use them mind you. 

I have a few questions directed to those with the appropriate tailoring skills, and request advice/suggestions from anyone.

1.  Should I wash them first (not dry clean) to find out if they will shrink a bit, before tailoring?
2.  Has anyone had their pants shrink while drying them in the hot tent?  It can easily get to 30-40'C at the apex of the tent with the stove running.  Where do others hang their wool pants in the tent when they are drying them?
3.  Suggestions on hemming style for pants like this?
4.  Any other suggestions from those who have worn these for years regarding tweeks or such (extra pockets, re-enforcing areas, etc...)

I have above average sewing machine skills (built a canvas tent from scratch) and a solid machine that can heavier fabric.

I plan on using some of the fabric cut from the bottom to make a tightening strip on the bottom of the pant leg.  Similar to a lot of modern pants.  The strip will be sewn in at one end and secured by snap button clasp at the other.  A few inches from that will be another receiver snap which will allow me to secure a few inches of the pant hem together to make it easier to slid into packboots or mucks, or to prevent the pant leg sliding below my heel if I'm wearing down booties or such.



Hi Corey,
I have been using heavy wool Codets for about 3 decades now, so have found what works for me:

1) DO NOT WASH in water!  Never!  This is heavy, heavy wool.  Dry clean only.  You can wear them for many winter trips without dry cleaning....unless they get into very dirty wet dog, or bloody with gutting and skinning a moose or something like that that really slimes them, no worries. 

2)  You do not need to hang them to dry in the hot tent, unless they got soaked from falling through the ice, or you got into some serious rain.  They dry best by simply wearing them.  Remember you are tending a hot stove in that hot tent that also has roof vents to keep that moist air going out, and dry winter air coming in at the floor level- stuff dries fast with the combo of stove heat and body heat from within. Your heavy duty wicking longjohns underneath will pump the moisture away from your skin, into the wool, so I have never been uncomfortable wearing damp wool trousers in the hot tent.  Its cold at the lower level in the tent, so you will want those trousers on.  The awesomeness of  heavy wool plus a modern wicking LJ is the incredible range of comfort.  If you sized the waist to be generous, then every time you move they will flex and push hot air up around the waist - that's why wearing suspenders works so well. I use a belt as well for my belt knife, and I loosen the belt. 

If the trousers are not dry by the time you retire at night, no worries.  Sleep in your LJ's, wake up and just put the trousers on, no worries.  Wool has an incredible comfort range. They are also thick enough where they can be dry on the inside and wet on the outside.  If you are camping "outside" around an open fire, just spend most of your time beside the big fire and the trousers will steam dry by simply wearing them.

3) Hem:  simple hem is fine.  I need all trousers hemmed since I am so short in stature.  But I have them hemmed long, so that when I am sitting, they do not ride up and pull tight on the knees and legs - that is uncomfortable, and they might want to pull out of tucking in my boots, which will let snow in.  I want them baggy and blousing up when standing and tucked into my boots, so there is no pulling of fabric when I sit or kneel.  I want plenty of fabric to tuck into my boots.   Hem length test:  At home inside with sock feet, they should drag on the floor, and I should be able to stand on them with the back of my heel.  To get around on a floor without tripping on them I should have to roll them up about an inch.  That is now long enough so that when I sit down or in a deep knee bend, they won't want to pull out of my boots, or be too tight and uncomfortable.  You don't want tight trousers in winter (or ever  :)  ).   

4)  The knees will wear out fast if you kneel down alot on surfaces.  Every time you kneel on hard snow or ice, little fibers will be pulled out.  Not good. For several years I have been having a tailor sew in thin leather knee patches, sized generously top to bottom so that there is lots of material to ensure no wool touches snow or ice or anything when I kneel down.  I buy a big side of black pig skin, thin suede leather that Tandy leather sells, and they market this particular leather as soft, thin and flexible for knee or elbow patch material.  I have been very happy with this Tandy leather patch material.  No worries if it gets wet, and it survives the dry cleaning perfectly.  I have the tailor open the side seams of the Codets and sew the patch into each seam, so there is no bunching of material.  And the leather is free floating on the wool. You can see these leather knee patches on the 28 oz Codets clearly in my latest YT video, here:

Hope this helps.

News & Events / Re: Any Plans for Mobile Support?
« on: January 15, 2017, 08:28:20 pm »
Hi TRW. No plans at the moment. We are stuck with the software we have.  :)
I know the phone view is horrible because its sized for a computer monitor.   

No not out camping.  Wish I was.  Larry was just sent his activation memo.  Thanks for the heads up, sorry for the delay.  The several hundred spammers per day bog the system down, (which means if I miss a few days checking, there are thousands in the queue).  Have a back-log of about 6,000 applicants names right now, 99.9% of which are spammers which I have to weed through.

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Packing up a hot stove when leaving site.
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:14:45 pm »

Hoop's videos should be the instruction manual that comes with the tent and stove.  It was the best way to spend the time waiting for the snowtrekker to arrive!
Packing Tent & Woodstove: Part 6 Solo Hot Tent Trip, Mid Feb, 2016

Most of us do it this way.

My stove rides in a cheap CT hockeybag year round.  I made custom tanks for everything else.  BV & LOTN sell tanks if you need some made.

Thanks GF!   :)  I will give credit for my early learning on this topic to Craig MacDonald's writings, and Dave Hadfield's great TR's on MyCCR winter camping threads, well before our forums here were created. 

TRW:  I also use an old small hockey bag for my stove. Like others pointed out above, the stove cools very quickly when emptied, use leather gloves, or sticks like DH mentioned.  In addition to the video GF linked (where I get dusted by the flying ash, which always happens!), this video shows a hand warming fire made from shoveling the coals out of the stove onto a log cabin fire:  The footage of the warming fire starts at 1:29. 

Ontario & Quebec / Re: Friend had a close call yesterday
« on: January 10, 2017, 09:47:52 pm »
At the risk of hijacking this thread....

Spider holes fascinate me.

They do not always occur in the same parts of lake each year, sometimes they stay open or grow in width, and sometimes they freeze over for the rest of the winter. As ANDN implies, the ice a meter to the side of a spider hole can be a full winter's depth - 2 or 3 feet.

While watching them when they are open, it is easy to see that they are the "vent" for liquid water to flow up or down from the top of the ice to the bottom & vis-versa, perhaps b/c of atmospheric pressure changes or b/c of changing snow loads upon the ice. Springtime melt water trapped on top of the ice "escapes" back into the liquid lake down though these spider holes for sure - sometimes with a small whirlpool on the surface.

Is anyone else interested spider holes? What do you think causes those "spider holes" initially, and why do they happen where they happen?

Hi Undersky.  Yes this is a hijack!   :)  The OP was about moving water in a river.  If you use the Search box up top and enter "spider holes" and hit return, you will get many different threads listed and linked, with photos, videos and discussion already in progress.  Why not take the spider hole discussion to them, and build on them.   :)

Did you have a look at the e-book chapters/tabs up at the top of the page?  Click on "Clothing" and look for the "Hand wear" tab.  In that it will provide some info for you to go on.  or link here:

In most cases you can find cheap stove/fire tending/hot pot grabbing gloves by buying leather and cotton work gloves in any hardware or work wear store.  The leather and cotton will not melt, even "in" a fire.  Easy to dry too by placing close to an open fire on drying sticks.
Like this:

Bioguide linked the Raber Canadian source for inexpensive working gauntlets.  You have to find your own wool or fleece liners for these. If you find wool mitts, you can sew on a gauntlet of fleece or wool.  The gauntlet allows you to grab the material with the opposite thumb so that it won't bunch up when you shove your hand in.  I found with the Raber's I had to size up:  my normal size is medium, but with the Raber leather shells I needed a size large.

Most hardware stores, and Cabelas I think, will also have short leather chopper mitt shells, again you supply your own liner.

For day gloves when its not too cold, I like deerskin leather shells that I add a fleece glove liner too.  The fleece liner has to have a mini-gauntlet for shoving the hands in and out easily.  I don't like the tight tubular wrists.  Full leather can be used in and around fire and can dry by fire easily.  I add Snow Seal and heat with a heat gun to absorb it in and dry it instantly, and this also seems to toughen the deer skin. Like this:

On the above photo, I cut out the sythetic insulation, except for around the wrist. That beige material you see is the remnants that make a natural snow cuff.  Inside are mini gauntlet fleece liner gloves I added. 

For higher-end leather and insulation layer, the best I have, and own, are Empire Wool and Canvas True North Mitts:   These can be used in and around fire. 

Tents and Shelters / Re: Best way to patch tear in tent?
« on: December 27, 2016, 01:16:24 pm »
SilNet works very well on Silnylon, in fact its made for it. It will work on a non-silicon nylon as well, so your patch material can be whatever nylon material. You don't need any fancy peel-off stick-on product if you have SilNet, although it has to dry of course, unlike peel and stick. I don't know how Tenacious tape works, so not diss'n it, just saying about the SilNet awesomeness.  NOTE: SilNet will dry to a tacky finish. In order to protect the tarp or tent from sticking to itself when folded, make sure that you dust the dried bead with some talc or baby powder, then gently vacuum with a hand vacuum, or brush off extra powder.  Good to go, only have to do that once and tackiness is gone forever.  In the bush, I have used dust from the bark of trees to dust the dried bead and that has worked to eliminate the tackiness. 

Thanks Rabbit (Les)!  I have done a little bit of snowmobiling in the past. I would use an oversized rain pant pulled over my wool trousers for the wind chill on the machine. I would wear my same inner layers and a floater coat for my jacket, again for wind chill and safety on ice.  But as soon as soon as I reached camp, off with those rain pants and floater coat, and on with my winter trekking wool and canvas and leather. When the machine would get stuck and I would have to exert enormous amounts of energy to get it unstuck, or turned around, it was a sweat fest with that floater coat on.  :)

Thanks AJM!  I posted web links to various products in the description under the video.   ;)
Look for the "show more" box under the description to open it up for all the text to show. 

Thanks Greenfrog!  Re vapor barrier socks:  Yes I have considered them, have a pair, but have not tried them yet.  Seems very un-natural....I know, one has to try it to see if the sweating stops, etc.   I suppose one day I will have to try it.  So far I am OK with carrying two sets of liners and switching them out each night. In a hot tent its super easy to dry them.  On cold camp with fire, there is the tending of liners on sticks by the fire, or hanging out in the sun and wind, always a bother to dry.  On full cold camping without fire (which I don't do), its drying inside the sleeping bag, in which case the vapor barrier system makes alot of sense to avoid that liner drying issue.

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Ferro rods in bulks...
« on: December 20, 2016, 08:02:41 pm »
Careful on the purchase of cheap ferro rods.  It can be hit and miss for quality.  There are also different hardnesses too.  The two I like to compare and contrast are the Light My Fire brand Swedish ferro rods which are very hard, and the brand ferro rods which are much softer.  Both work very well, but different.  I know because I own both of these brands, and have read numerous reviews by others with similar results to my own. The LMF can generate big sparks and molten blobs of metal with a slow strike.  This can be advantageous for certain applications.  I prefer to pin the tinder with the rod and do a slow downward strike.  This does not toss the tinder all over the place because its slow and controlled .  The requires a faster strike, but you get huge globs of soft molten metal.  But they will not ignite if the strike is not fast with alot of friction. The faster strike can be problematic depending on what your application is.  Pinning the tinder with the rod and doing a fast strike can toss the tinder.  Also I find the harder type can be worked with a strike on the end of the rod, thus conserving the metal.  On the softer type, one needs a long fast strike which tends to wear away the rod in the middle faster.  Both work well, but my personal preference is for the LMF type of harder ferrocerium.

There are reports out there of cheap Chinese knock offs that are duds.  I don't know if this is urban myth or not.  I did buy a large number of Coghlans cheapo ferro rods for teaching groups, and they worked fine (although not the best) with the carbide strikers that I also purchase in bulk and give as gifts.  I threw away the crappy strikers that the Coghlans come with, which were dull and could not throw a big molten blob of metal.  Light sparks are no good except for lighting gas stoves.  Ironically the newer strikers are crap that come with the LMF excellent and expensive Army model ferro rod.  Dull cheap steel with a crappy plastic whistle built in.  I toss these out and replace with a carbide striker.

I have taught groups of young scouts who could not light a frayed jute tinder bundle using their cheapo strikers of Coghlans or whatever brand they bought.  The scouts were giving up thinking they were not good enough to do it. When I gave them the carbide striker, they could make the essential large molten blob and light the tinder, even though their cheapo ferro rods were not as good as a big name brands. These carbide strikers are only about 2 bucks a piece, and make great gifts.  I attach bright orange cord to each striker to loop onto the ring on the ferro rod.  I can't say enough good things about these carbide strikers:

Years ago I ordered a ferro rod from Ray Mears store in Britain.  It had his famous logo on it, but I am guessing it was made for them by LMF brand.  However the striker was terrible. So again I replaced it with a carbide striker, and it works very well now.  The worst striker I ever got was on a BCB brand ferro rod.  BCB makes "survival" gear. It was rounded steel if you can believe that.  No sparks at all.  Completely useless.  So again I chucked it and added the carbide striker and it works reasonably well now, although not as good as a LMF brand ferro rod.

If the ferro rods online are priced too cheap to seem real, you takes your chances.  They might be able to be used decently with a carbide striker with a really perfect 90 degree sharp angle. Certainly you can find less expensive ones that the LMF Army model which is running almost $30 a piece now around here.  Best of luck and check out those carbide strikers. 

Hi folks,
I posted a new video on YouTube (filmed Feb 2016), where I explain and show my winter clothing system of wool, cotton canvas, leather, fleece and acrylic that works for me when doing high exertion activities such as sled hauling, firewood collecting, snowshoeing and back country skiing.  This system for me, allows the moisture and excess heat to be vented efficiently to the outside. (The only exception is my pac boots which do not breathe, where the liner does get soaked but I switch out the liners every night and dry them).

Web links Links to various clothing items are in the description under the video when you run it. All of the items and brands I am wearing will be familiar to the regulars here on Wintertrekking, and many of you will have similar gear.  For newbies, you may get some ideas for outfitting your layers.
Note for newbies:  You don't need all the name brands I mentioned.  You can search army surplus stores for less expensive gear, and make your own, or modify existing gear.  I will say that the brand name gear I have I believe has saved me money in the long run because it lasts and lasts, and serves the purpose it was intended for. 

Staying comfortable in deep cold in winter when working hard means staying cool, not hot. In the video I show that I am wearing no outer shell (except for boots and mitts), and all my wool and fleece layers have no membrane to block moisture movement. Excess moisture and heat can quickly escape outside, and I like to have the wind move through the un-shelled fabrics to pull away heat and moisture.  So-called "breathable membrane" outer shells do not work below freezing because the moisture frosts and plugs the membrane. If I need a shell for high abrasion activities in the bush, or for sedentary activities like ice fishing, I carry my traditional oversized cotton anorak/parka shell that has capacity for adding more insulating layers underneath. For ice fishing I carry some gortex rain pants that are OK for sedentary time out on the ice, but otherwise I an wearing my un-shelled Codets. 

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: Adirondack snoskishoe
« on: December 18, 2016, 01:04:39 pm »
Nicely done Bioguide!  I look forward to the test in deep soft snow in the bush!

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