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Messages - GearFreak

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Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: Today at 12:45:05 PM »
GF - do you weld?

Poorly, and it has been many years.  I did inherit a low power stick welder and have been itching for an excuse to justify it collecting dust.  This sounds like a reasonable project to start with!  small enough and useful!

I usually ask the guys in the shop if they can do something for me - they have the right equip and don't mind.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 22, 2019, 11:52:13 AM »
I have also noticed that traditional narrow portage trails become much wider once they start to be used by vehicles.
I hear you, from what I can find the accepted route into many backcountry lakes is the summer portage trails. 
One reason I liked Quetico so much was the non motorized access and the feeling of isolation you get.

Although walking those trails out of  Mary Jane was much easier!

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 21, 2019, 09:53:13 PM »
I placed a call to the Rennie Office, initial contact had no information.  I left a message with the CO.  Will have to see what the say left my number or told him to find me on a lake!  Curious.

I expect someone created a policy to address an uptick in Winter Camping and leave some discretion to the actual park officers. I know Riding Mountain's rangers have discretion on whether to grant a backcountry random camping permit.

Saw on twitter the parks dept. was replacing some of the picnic tables in Two of the three lakes I have on my radar for this weekend.  (one of the pictures doesn't look recent - way more snow on the lakes!)  Either way I am downloading the sites to my GPS and if one is acceptable I may play nice.  At least at a designated site alcohol can be "legally" consumed!

But I agree with both your points.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:51:07 PM »
So - it has been quite a while since I spoke to anyone at the parks regarding winter camping.  back in 2013/2014 they thought we were all nuts and really had not considered that we would do this.  Well, that has changed. 

Note the following I found online - I will confirm my info with the park I am heading to before I leave but thought this may be interesting to other Manitoba based campers.

text reads:
Winter Camping in Provincial Parks
While developed campgrounds close for the winter season, there are several options for winter camping.  Whether you are hunting, ice fishing or looking for a thrilling winter adventure, you should first contact the respective Sustainable Development District Office for the park you wish to camp.  Staff will let you know what locations may be available and help you plan your visit.  Find contact info here: 
In provincial parks, any overnight camping permitted only in designated sites.  Any backcountry sites available in summer remain available for camping in the winter.  There are no fees for backcountry winter camping.  Winter camping is by tent only.
There are some options on maintained trails as well: • Spruce Woods Provincial Park –the Epinette, Seton and Yellow Quill trail systems offer several hike or ski in campsites, including the Jackfish Lake cabin.  Distances to sites range from 2 km to 20 km treks. • Turtle Mountain Provincial Park – you can ski on the Adam Lake trail system to the James Lake cabin for overnight use. There is no charge for camping or use of the Jackfish or James Lake cabins, but registration is required for any overnight use in these two parks.  For Spruce Woods, call our Carberry District Office at 204-834-8800; for Turtle Mountain, call our Boissevain District Office at 204-534-2028.
Organized groups may be able to use group use areas for winter camping.  Organizers need to submit a Special Event Application to do so, found here: 
Most parks do not have regular staff in the winter; routes are not maintained and there are no services.  You are camping and travelling at your own risk.  You must practice Leave No Trace and pack out everything you packed in, including trash and gear.   
For more information on winter camping in provincial parks, contact your local District Office, call us toll-free 1-800-2146497 or email [email protected].

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:46:46 PM »
I have been thinking of sheet steel stock and may weld the edges and a hook like bit to slip over the hinge side allowing it to open as well. 

no matter what we come up with - BG wins the prize for the concept!

I will split the cost on a piece of glass (whatever it is) Undersky. (never mind - reread your post and I see you ordered it already!) 

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: February 20, 2019, 08:57:28 PM »
I have to do this.  Undersky - Group buy on materials?   BV - you in?

Winter Camping Safety / Re: Spot X - First Look
« on: February 20, 2019, 08:54:08 PM »
You know what guys, they are both good products.  I have used both globalstar & iridium phone networks.  All Satellite phones (& devices) have limits.  I have had good and crappy calls with both networks.

When it comes to these messengers do your homework on what will work for you, and like what you own.  Look at the coverages, plans and hardware costs and pull the trigger.

If you select the right device for your needs the odds are you will be happy with your spend.

BV's point was the speed of a real world test.  All four of us were actually surprised at how quick it happened.  We are all of the rotary phone age so this shit is still cool!

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: February 17, 2019, 10:27:15 PM »
that is awesome BioGuide.  hope you did a DIY video on it.  good job!

When I commuted WPG to The Pas, I brought books on tape or CD with me for the 6 hour ride.  Made it enjoyable.

Just to add to BV's comment re- bright colours. 

Years ago I trained as a spotter for CASARA.  Flew a few training missions with 402 out of Winnipeg including an actual tasking as well.

A Fire, good and Smokey, is the best to spot someone.  Bright colours as well as anything unusual is attention getting.  stay on the edge of a clearing, lake is best.  Green boughs in an SOS on snow. 

A dead snow machine sitting on a lake is a good visual reference.

People wanting to get found are usually easy to spot,  but not in heavy timber. 

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Justin Barbour - youtube
« on: January 29, 2019, 09:56:17 AM »
Yup - pretty entertaining.  He has appeared to do quite a bit of trailers for the trip when you look at his other videos.

Slow day at work huh?

Warm rules, but under either option the hands are usually cold.

Tents and Shelters / Re: How cold before the stove can't keep up?
« on: January 26, 2019, 12:13:03 PM »
Later when the cook fire and camp stove were going we realized that they had harvested live tamarack. Green tamarack does not burn well.


but dead tamarack burns exceptionally well.  Learning to tell live tamarack is important.  I look for the little round bumps/buds on the twigs.  If I see buds - I leave it.

Trip Reports / Re: Splosh!
« on: January 21, 2019, 02:22:13 PM »
Makes me kinda glad I didn't head out on the machine like I had planned.  Whiteshell snoman trails are closed as I understand they need 18" of ice for the groomer and it is not present everywhere. 

Good to hear you made it out - I watched football all day. 

Trip Reports / Re: Solo Winter Hammock Camp
« on: January 09, 2019, 10:42:47 PM »
Well Done, got to see some of your personality.  enjoy your trip

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