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Messages - HOOP

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General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Howdy
« on: February 14, 2018, 09:59:28 AM »
Welcome Yooper5!

Hi folks!  This is a video of a scouting day-trip ("recce") to an old winter campsite of mine, to prepare resources for a future winter base camp.  Nothing exciting, the "usual" mundane stuff:  trail pack, firewood collection, and spruce bough collection. This site was hit by a windstorm and there are several blown down black spruce with green limbs, which are going to die anyways, so might as well use them.

Some narration on my clothing system, which has not changed for many years - I find it works  ;)

My former firewood cache was knocked down and pinned under blowdown, so I collected more poles and stacked them to stay dry and shed snow and rain. I hope to get out to use this site soon.

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / Re: Snowshoes in the winter wonderland
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:37:36 AM »
Well done Bkrgi!  Beautiful landscape there in BC!
I can relate to that dense understory, and snowshoeing up and over blowdown!  ;)

Food and Cooking / Bacon Prep:
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:51:02 PM »
Just cooked up a pile of bacon for winter camping!
Cast your eyes upon this bacony goodness...

Can you smell it.  Oh ya!

Individual breakfast portions are packed in these foil packets, and then frozen, to pop on the woodstove or by the open fire.

Heat and eat, no muss no fuss ... although it takes several hours of prep work in the kitchen at home, its all worth it!

The ideal parking spot often does not exist.  Often we have to shovel out our own parking spot to get off the highway or logging road. Its illegal and unsafe to park on the side of an active road around here, and a snow plow can accidentally destroy your vehicle.  So parking off the main road is essential. 

In the following video on a scouting day trip, I show solo shoveling out of a parking spot on the entrance of an unplowed logging road, early February. The snow bank is already well established over 2 months, and is big and frozen.

I discuss the no-lifting snow moving method I use that saves my back, and prevents an over-exertion heart far, so good anyways!  :)

I use a sliding snow scoop and slide snow up and away on ramps. The work is mostly pushing with legs and whole body, which is much easier than lifting and tossing heavy snow with upper body. I also show using a flat faced snow shovel to hack and shave the frozen bank into pieces in order to scoop and slide it away.

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / Re: Hoop's new vids
« on: February 06, 2018, 10:27:56 PM »
Thanks Art!  For anyone looking for them, the links are here:

Note:  In the second one, I talked about my new EW&C Arctic Anorak, but made a big blunder and first called it the Jackrabbit Pullover, then the Snowshoe Hare pullover (the Snowshoe Hare Pullover is another fine lightweight anorak model from EW&C), and my annotations call it the Snowshoe Hare pullover.  Its not, my mistake, it is in fact the "Arctic Anorak" model.  Got it two years ago, then forgot the name in the bush!  (definitely getting old and losing my memory!    :-[  ).

So I tried to go into Youtube edits mode to write some new annotations to correct the matter.  Annotations have been a permanent tool since YT began. Well, turns out YouTube recently cancelled its annotations tool!  This is preposterous !  Video makers need an annotation tool.  So anyways, I am unable to correct it with annotation edits, but just so everyone knows, the anorak in video 2 is indeed the "Arctic Anorak", and it rocks!  :)

Last year I acquired a new "Arctic Anorak", made by Empire Wool & Canvas Co, but never had a chance to use it last winter.  I am now using it this winter and starting to put it through the paces, and I have to say:  This is my new favourite anorak! 

The fabric is a beautiful lightweight 6 oz organic cotton canvas. Yes, I said 6 oz!  Where Kevin found this amazing fabric no one knows, but its one of those perfect traditional winter camping cottons. It is a very tight weave that is totally windproof, but its luxuriously light and flexible, and of course totally silent, with that natural soft hand of a fine and tight weave pure cotton. It packs down significantly smaller than my older heavier fabric anoraks.

EW&C link is here for all the manufacturer's details:

First a couple of EW&C images, then I will follow with my version below:

I shot a video recently but botched the narration and production, and the lighting exposure was not good, so I am going to re-shoot the video. But I grabbed some screens from that for the following images (apologize for the poor focus from the video). I plan to re-shoot the video, but this will get us started.

For sizing context, in the images below underneath I am wearing my standard cold weather gear: On top, base layer, 100 weight fleece sweater, and EW&C Camp Coat which is heavy wool. I still have plenty of room to add more layers inside, and free ability to reach anywhere with no binding of the sleeves.  For hip area I have my standard Codet 28 oz heavy wool trousers and a belt knife, and there is plenty of room to spare under the anorak.

Without waist cinched – on me this means the anorak rides about half a foot longer:

For sizing, note that Kevin makes the Arctic Anorak for fitting over your woollies and fleece, and the sizing is GENEROUS, and that is a good thing.  It has that functional bagginess for the bellows effect for pumping out hot air and moisture when you want to, but with all the cinch areas available for variable cinching down to seal in heat. The fabric is very light and does not bind or bulk up when it folds with the loose fitting design.
I am only 5'4", but size-wise I usually wear a size medium in almost everything, but Kevin fitted me with a small, and at first I was doubting that size would work for me because small is always too small and too tight for me. But of course Kevin was correct, and the size small is perfect for my frame and internal layering system – it is made oversized for winter layers underneath.  Suffice to say that no matter how big you are, Kevin has a size designed for you. 

Back view, waist not yet cinched, and you can see the waist cinch tube that will sit above your hips if its cinched, raising the lower half up:

As you can see, the hip and thigh area is made purposely long for wind protection, and for sitting down and protecting the wool trousers, but it can be hitched up if you want via the integral waist shock cord system. I prefer wearing my voyageur sash, which is in the next photos.  But you don't need a sash because you have the shock cord waist tube. The shock cord ends are nicely designed to be accessed inside the front chest pocket, so there are no outer cord ends to snag on anything.

With Voyageur sash on, which raises the lower half, and showing the generous chest pocket. Inside the chest pocket is a zip opening to reach inside to your inside layers:

Back view:

Arms raised, showing the diagonal cut of extra fabric from waist to shoulder (mini "bat wings", or perhaps flying squirrel gliding membranes...but I digress), which provides free movement, and the important bellows effect for moving hot air and moisture out when you want. 

The hood is huge and can be nicely cinched down for a custom fit, more on the hood later.  The neck gusset is zipped open, and the black colour inside is the black fleece lining in the gusset, neck and forward face area for comfort. Note the wrists are cinched down here, but they open up huge - see next photo.

Wrist openings with Velcro cuffs:  very big for those who wear mitts inside, and can cinch down for gauntlets worn outside.



This shows the neck gusset with a full wind cover over the zip when closed.  The various colour zipper pull cords are my custom addition. Empire makes this full winter stealth with all white/natural cotton fabric and hardware.  Note the two D-rings below each arm - these are for channeling a mitten harness, which is a great idea and keeps the harness out of the way.

This shows the fleece liner around the face and neck area. Note the white visor cord tube for the hood opening. I really like this feature. It helps shape the hood opening without need for a wire, and it is somewhat independent of the hood for a more comfortable fit without crushing the heavier hood fabric around your face. 

This is the hood fur ruff zipper attachment that comes standard with the Arctic Anorak.  The fabric tape on the removable side is generous for sewing on your own custom ruff. I plan to install a fur ruff.

Back of the hood, showing the front/back adjustment ladder lock on top, and the side to side cord lock adjustment.  This is very handy for a quick no-hassle adjustment as head gear changes, and they say the hood is big enough for helmets.

I really like the new Arctic Anorak: great fit, features, and that wonderful 6 oz fabric! 

Check out EW&C website for more info. Well done Kevin! 

Trip Reports / Re: Eustache lake, Algonquin, Jan. 27-29, 2018
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:04:48 PM »
Awesomeness!  Algonquin seems to be made for winter camping! Excellent quality on those photos, nice use of light. 

Ya agreed on the mixed blessing of the snowmobile trail.  Plus for the packed trail.  Minus for the sliding of the toboggan off to the side and dragging on its edge at an agonizing angle of pull that invokes trail rage!  (don't ask me how I know!   :)  ).

Snowshoeing Discussion / Re: Treating poly cords?
« on: January 28, 2018, 12:42:01 AM »
Is Spar varnish different from urethane?  Thanks

Hi Coldfeet.  Yes, true spar varnish is different than urethane.  Try googling "spar varnish vs urethane", and you will get many hits with the info.

From my general reading, the best spar varnishes (and they are expensive, but worth it), have more % of oil to make them more flexible, and their resins designed for outdoors are different than what resins are used for indoor applications (I think?).  The urethanes produce a hard brittle finish which is not what we want for snowshoes, paddles, and any outdoor wood that might be flexing, and expanding and contracting across a wide range of temperatures.  Apparently spar varnishes also have UV blockers in them as well.  Spar varnish is classically used in marine applications to protect a ship's wood from the elements, so its what we want for outdoor woods. 

I use true spar varnish on my snowshoes for the wood and babiche and monoline.  It works for me. 

To make matters more complicated, there are blends like "spar urethane", so in my brief reading there is a wide spectrum.  My recommendation is to use the true spar varnish, pay a little more, but have the best there is.  Spar varnish is thinned with mineral spirits.  As the can ages with opening and closing, it will thicken, and thinning is just the ticket for the right consistency.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Help and form questions.
« on: January 25, 2018, 06:47:38 PM »
Hi RR,

Oh so close!  You missed it by about one click.
That last link was also not an image file, it was a webpage link.  A photo HAS to end with a ".jpg"
This is a webpage that links to your account, sort of like an index page, but is not the actual photo:[email protected]/shares/233v8L

I clicked on that address above and got to your Flickr page, which shows what is essentially a giant thumbnail of the image, but its not the image.  You know its not because you cannot get an image info ending in a .jpg by right mouse clicking on it. 

Instead, double click on the photo to launch the page that shows the actual photo.  Now it is on its own location page.

So I did that, right mouse clicked on it, and then clicked on "copy image location".
This is one of several photo locations that Flickr makes, and notice it ends in a ".jpg", and I pasted it below:

I will wrap this in image tags on this exact URL above using the Mona Lisa "insert image" button: 

On Flickr, you actually have several other versions of the image address (URL), different sizes pre-made for you, all ending in a ".jpg".  How did I find these?  Right mouse click on that image (that you double clicked to launch it from the main Flickr display).  Then click "view page info", or view image info (each computer may have something different).  Then click "Media".  You have several versions, all different sizes:
But you have menus on your own Flickr page to select these via menu.  I am doing it as a visitor using right mouse clicking, so this really is incredibly easy and takes two or three clicks to copy-paste it into a posting.  Literally its only 3 or 4 clicks for me to grab your photo and paste it and wrap it. 


Here it is wrapped in the img tags:

medium-sized version

Here it is wrapped in img tags:

And there is a big version that is 1,536px × 2,048px:

But I won't wrap this big one in img tags because its too wide for a normal screen.  But go ahead and click on the URL above and it will display the image on your Flickr page where the photo is.  Right mouse click on it and "view image info", and you will see the address above ending in the "k.jpg".  Feel free to "copy image location" and paste it into this thread, and then wrap in img tags.  Its a big high resolution version of you on the ice

See, this is really, really easy!  And I am not even signed into your Flickr page!   :)

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Help and form questions.
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:54:04 AM »
Hi RR,

That is not an image you are linking.  It has to have a ".jpg" on the end to be an image (or other image code like a ".png").  You are not linking the place of the place that is storing the image.  You are linking the actual image location, and it has to be the image file itself.

Go to your image where its stored.  Right mouse click on it an either "copy location", or "view image info", and look for a ".jpg" at the end.

Your storage place may have a "share button".  Click that and see what it shows you.  These share buttons often provide the image file, sometime pre-wrapped in img tags.  Flickr provides 4 options for sharing codes, and it requires a simple copy-paste, and trim extraneous file code to the pre-formatted img tags.  Each sharing system will have its own way of showing share codes.  But sometimes the quickest way is a simple right mouse button "copy location" or view image info" and copy that URL.

Don't forget to use your "preview" button at the bottom of the posting box to see if the image link works. 

We are rooting for you, I know you can do it!   ;)

Hi AB_Winter.  Good timing with your question. Just yesterday I just put the first km on a brand new pair of leather Crispi Antarctics.  OUCH!  Man that leather is stiff and my feet were hurting. Before killer blisters had a chance to form, I skied back to the truck and decided it was a snowshoeing day with snow boots instead.  I will have to plan some short skiing distances locally and methodically break those boots in. 

My previous leather boots:  Garmont Tours (no longer made), required no break in period, so I guess its luck of the draw for how the boot first forms to your flexing foot. Both makes of boots had the same Vibram 75mm NN 3-pin sole, so I guess its all about the leather.

For heel blister avoidance, I and my buddies discovered a preventative sock system:  wear two pairs of thin, slippery polypropylene liner socks:  one next to the skin and one over top, and then layer your wool socks over these.  The polypropylene liner socks slide on each other and the wool, and so so this greatly reduces friction. 

Re leather treatment: I don't know the Alpinas, but my Crispis and the Garmonts before has a superb finish on the leather and when new I do not see a need to treat them with anything. When the time comes, I treat all my leather boots and mitts and gloves with SnoSeal.  It has beeswax in it.  I rub on a layer and then soak it in with a heat gun (but gentle on the heat).  You can see the SnoSeal being absorbed into the leather when it heats up.

Tents and Shelters / Re: Arctic Oven on Propane
« on: January 23, 2018, 07:37:04 AM »
Beautiful country N61!  Best of luck in the bison scout and hopefully a bison soon for the freezer!

Hey folks, if you can, please give North61's video a watch and a "like", and if you can, subscribe to support his channel.  Youtube just instituted a new draconian policy where they will de-monetize any channel with less that 1000 subscriptions, and less than 4  thousand hours of views (even though YT makes its zillions in advertising revenue from content that North61 and Youtubers provides for free!  Go figure, but anyway...).  North61 is almost there with 987 subscribers when I watched the video this morning - he only needs 13 more to get to the threshold where he can monetize his channel.  The monetization is not much, but it helps things like maybe pay for some of the gas to get to the trailhead, and maybe contribute to camera gear or other support, so he can make more winter trekking videos that we can watch for free!  :)

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Help and form questions.
« on: January 21, 2018, 10:40:37 AM »
Can't find a section for asking question for form help. Tried to do a report. When up loading pictures it says my pictures aren't writable. I'm able to load them on other sites. Anyone able to help. I have basic computer skills.


Hi RR.  The "how to post photos" blurbs are somewhat out of date, but the gist is still true.  In our forums, the photos are not "uploaded" because we do not have that server space and system.  Rather, the photos are shared from photo sharing website designed to share photos across platforms, e.g. Google Photos, or Flickr (both of which are free), or other sites.  I am using Flickr and its working well (Photobucket is not longer available without a hefty annual membership fee, and it severed all photo links for those who did not pay).  You upload to photo share website which host the image, then share the location from there.

You paste the photo location URL directly into your text, and wrap with the image tags to ID it as an image.  The photo location URL (its internet address where it is stored) is pasted into your post, and you wrap it with image tags.  I updated the how-to here towards the bottom of the thread:

See below for more instructions, which is extracted from that thread I posted above:

The image below shows how to wrap the URL in image tags:
This means you already have shared the photo to a photo sharing website (e.g. Flickr, Imgur, etc).

First:  Paste in the URL location of your photo.  Make sure there is a ".jpg" ending to identify it as an image.
Second:  Highlight the URL.  That is the dark blue highlight you see below.
Third:  Click that Mona Lisa button!   That wraps it in the proper image "IMG" tags, and automatically takes care of the brackets and fore slash, no worries.

That's it.  You are done.  Hit "preview" to see if it worked.  If it did not work, you pasted in the wrong URL.

For practice if you like, right mouse click on the image below, and a box will pop up, and then click on "View image info".  This will show you where the photo's storage info is (which is on my Flickr account).  Make sure the "Media" tab is on, and you will see "Location".  That is the URL.  Cursor over it to highlight it, copy, and past into a thread.  Boom, you are done, just wrap in image tags.  Another way to do the same thing and skip a step is to right mouse click on it, click "Copy image location", and paste it into a thread, and then wrap with image tags. 

Photo share websites have different ways of providing you the URL.  On Flickr I use the "BB code" (bulletin board code) they provide on one of their 4 options to share the image.  I copy the BB code, then past it into a text box.  It has extra code I don't need, so I look for the "IMG" tags and clip this out (pre-wrapped for convenience), and past that into a post box.   Its very easy and fast once you know the tricks.

News & Events / Re:'s 2017-18 Fund Raising Drive!
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:39:38 PM »
Update on the Winter 2017-18 fund raising campaign:

WE DID IT!    We reached our fundraising target of $2000, AND have now surpassed it!  The fundraising thermometer has not only surpassed -40 degrees, its now down to -50C or -58F!  Now that is downright cold!   :)  And that is a good thing! 

Thank you to everyone who donated to the winter 2017-18 fundraising campaign.  We now have the funds to pay for the new hosting services and upgrades, and more upgrades and improvements to come.  I think I will now go winter camping on a trip or two.   :)

The official campaign is now ended.  However, donations at any time are still very welcome of course.  The costs to run the website are ongoing with annual hosting and maintenance fees. If you wish to donate to the website, please go to the first posting in this thread for the how-to instructions.  If you forget where this thread later for the how-to info, it is posted as a sticky post at the top of the "News and Events" forum, or just PM me for instructions.  All annual donations of $10 or more provide "Supporter" title under your name.

I have heard from many of you on suggestions for upgrades. One of the most common is the ability for this website to host photos directly, with a direct upload from the thread posting box (rather than the system we use now, which is using a photo-sharing website and a URL link).  That is on the near top of the list, and I await the news from the tech guys on what that may cost per year, and related software upgrades.  I have a long list, and we will chip away at it

Thanks again everyone.  The community is a fine community indeed.   8) 

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