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Messages - DMarrone

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Tents and Shelters / Re: Great rental deal on tents and toboggans
« on: January 05, 2019, 06:01:02 pm »
No toe stepping at all!

Tents and Shelters / Re: Great rental deal on tents and toboggans
« on: January 05, 2019, 02:15:50 pm »
Thanks for helping spread the word!  We're starting our first trip of the season Monday, and then will be hopping until late March, but we have some extra help this year and so are trying to accommodate rentals as best we can.  We have 5 Snowtrekkers and stoves, and use up to 4 of them at any time, so we have at least one tent and stove that's earmarked just for rentals this year.

We're off the beaten path if you're heading to Algonquin or Killarney's main entrance, but you don't have to hike into our remote property to get the gear.  We have friends in Espanola that we typically arrange to drop the gear at (pre-arranged rentals only), and have done the same with friends in Sudbury in the past.  If you're heading to Kukagami or other points at Temagami's SW corner, then Sudbury is a convenient pickup point.  And we just mailed a tent and stove out to Ottawa to be used next weekend (pricey, they had a group to share the cost of shipping back and forth).

We don't do a lot of rentals in a season because of our winter schedule, but I do try to make them work where possible.

Classifieds / Re: Big Bill 28oz, 100% wool pants
« on: November 09, 2018, 10:40:22 am »
SOLD, thanks for looking!

Classifieds / Re: Dog Sled for sale
« on: November 09, 2018, 09:16:37 am »
I was sitting around enjoying some expertly prepared beaver kidney pie last night Jim, and we got to talking about dog sleds.  Putting 2 and 2 together, I realized who you are!  Maybe you don't have any trained dogs to pull that sled of yours, but if you bring it up here this winter, there's at least one Madd Dawg that we can try to convince to pull you on the trails!

Classifieds / Big Bill 28oz, 100% wool pants
« on: November 08, 2018, 04:08:20 pm »
Hi all,

Asking $100 each, no tax, free shipping within Canada.  (Compare to $123 before tax).  32 W x 33 L

I have a couple of pairs of these pants that were bought a couple of years ago and never worn.  They've been in dry storage since and are brand new.  The tags are still on the pants, no musty smell, perfect condition.

I must have been ambitious when I ordered these.  A 32" waist does not fit me!

Here's a picture of them sitting on a chair, really doesn't do justice to these fine pants though :)

Mine are labelled Wood N' Trail.  I think the company was briefly branded "Wood N Trail" after "Codet" and before "Big Bill".  All the same pants.

Lure of the North / Re: Toboggan Warranty
« on: October 06, 2018, 07:50:03 am »
Awesome, thank you!

Lure of the North / Re: Toboggan Plastics Comparison
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:16:14 am »
I've enjoyed checking out your toboggans at the WCS in the past - beautiful craftsmanship that's for sure!

Lure of the North / Re: Toboggan Warranty
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:11:15 am »
We've had 6 over the years that I can think of: 2 of our own on trip, plus 4 customer's.  All HDPE. 3 of those customers were all purchased around the same time, so I speculated those may have came from the same sheet of plastic and it had a defect perhaps during annealing.  It can happen.  Six over the course of about a decade of using and selling toboggans isn't a huge percentage, but we figure its good peace of mind to offer to folks that if it does happen to them they don't have to worry about it.

I think a lot of our customers have a good sense that we're a small company, so I'm not anticipating any abusers. 

Lure of the North / Re: Toboggan Plastics Comparison
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:46:25 am »
My wife that run a grade 10 outdoor head program use our sled made of UHMW and the one I made for the school that are identical but made out of HDPE and she always come back saying that our sled is way easier to pull than the school sleds. I tried as well and I find the UHMW glide more easily than the HDPE sleds! Also I found that the UHMW is more scratch resistant than the HDPE version...

There have been times on trip where we've been sure we could tell a difference between the two plastics, and other times where we've been sure that there's no difference.  That might go back to K's note about temperature.  Maybe you just pack your personal sled much nicer than the student's pack the school's sleds  ;)

Lure of the North / Re: Toboggan Plastics Comparison
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:44:33 am »
do the same experiment, but on a gentle slope such that no pulling is required; just let them go and see how far they slide. That way the force applied to each sled is identical, instead of being merely similar, and you wouldn't need 1000 pounds either.

This was the first test we did, when we first started carrying UHMW.  Granted we didn't spend enough time setting up a proper course for the sleds to slide down.  We were still living in the city at the time, so sent them down a driveway.  They tended to swerve/ flip/ veer off course, so we abandoned that test without reaching a conclusion.

temperature is a variable here too

Our original intention was to do multiple tests across 4 temperature ranges.  -20 would be the cold test, we were hoping for an extremely cold, moderate and around freezing test, but winter tends to be a busy time  ::)  I think if we'd seen more variation we might have been more interested to continue comparing differences at different temperatures.

Lure of the North / Re: Local Pickups across Southern Ontario
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:36:01 am »
I think I'll leave that particular venture for you to pursue  ;D

I will say if you do find/ have already found a significant other that wants to join you on adventures year round, you're very lucky indeed!

Lure of the North / Local Pickups across Southern Ontario
« on: October 04, 2018, 12:33:00 pm »
Finally, while I'm on a roll with a bit of promo, we're offering free local pickup across a variety of S. Ontario locations this fall. 

  • We have family in Bradford, and stop there nearly every time we travel, so can have items dropped there for pickup on a fairly regular basis throughout the fall.
  • We'll be at the Canoe Museum in Peterborough 3 times: Oct 19 - 22, Nov 1 - 4 and Nov 10/11
  • And we'll be at the Lee Valley in Waterloo on Dec 1/2

Send us an email, and please arrange in advance!  Hopefully we'll see some people dropping in to say hi this fall!

Lure of the North / Toboggan Warranty
« on: October 04, 2018, 12:28:12 pm »
We've quietly replaced a few broken toboggans over the past few years, and I've recently decided if we're going to have a great replacement policy we may as well make a little bit of noise about it, so here goes!

We are now warrantying all HDPE toboggan plastic for 3 years, and all UHMW-PE plastic for 7 long years! That's right, your new toboggan could have a longer warranty than your new truck!

Warranty details are here:

And toboggans and accessories are here:

We're just wrapping up getting all toboggan components ready for the season and will be shipping en masse in the next two weeks or so, so now is a great time to get your order in for the coming season!

Lure of the North / Toboggan Plastics Comparison
« on: October 04, 2018, 12:21:07 pm »
A few years back myself and a few other mused about the best way to test the sliding characteristics of High Density Polyethylene vs Ultra High PE.  We've compared these side-by-side on our winter trips for a number of years and kept going back and forth on whether we could notice the UHMW-PE sliding better or not.  I think Kielyn and I devised a pretty good, low-tech test and finally have the video edited to show the results.

You can find it here:


No difference in ease of pulling between the two!

Having said that the UHMW-PE is much more flexible and durable in cold weather, especially getting to -20C and below.  I've summarized my thoughts on the plastic differences as well as the applications for the different lengths of toboggan on a page here:

If anyone else has any thoughts or comparisons between the two plastics I'd love to hear about it.

Sorry to join the conversation late, and yes Adam, I do disagree that you've reached your question allotment, as I'm happy when I consider the benefits of the trip have started before the shoe hits the snow.  :)

Art has hit the nail on the head, that the recommendation is based on our practice of keeping the stoves running at night.  Its important to note though, I consider -20 C with a single closed cell foam pad to be the minimum bag rating required, and many people bring warmer bags and warmer pads, and I've never heard anyway complain their bag was too warm or their pad too comfortable!  Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering are popular, as are the Exped mats, though they still make me nervous around the boughs even after years of people bringing them successfully.

If for some reason we didn't have sufficient wood to keep the stoves going overnight (hasn't happened yet, thankfully) then -20 bags with supplemental clothing, would be adequate for safety and survival on the coldest nights, but wouldn't necessarily make for a comfortable night, or much sleep.  We supply -20 MEC Hybrid sleeping bags as our rental bags, so I have always used that bag myself, both because its value couldn't be beat, but also to ensure the bag we are supplying to guests is adequate.  Unfortunately they discontinued it this year, and I have yet to try out MEC's current low-cost (synthetic) winter bag, though I suspect it will fill the same role as the old hybrid. 

We've always tried to make winter camping accessible with a wide range of gear recommendations; if the FF bags fit within your budget, you won't be disappointed in having it along on trip.

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