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Topics - Rob

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Winter Camping Clothing / Why white cotton for Anoraks?
« on: March 01, 2009, 09:43:50 pm »
Today I was out watching the Sno-X races in town and was amongst some very bundled up people who were dismayed at my attire.

I wore a pair blue jeans, long underwear of course, a fleece undershirt and a fleece black hoody. Good mittens and a trappers hat. I think the temperature was -20 and the sun was intense. I noticed how warming the sun was on the black fabric and was quite comfortable until the wind picked up a bit and started blowing through the sweater.

Then it occurred to me that we are focused on making white tents, white anoraks and so on. What would be the drawbacks of black ones?

Other Homemade Gear / What about a tipi?
« on: February 05, 2009, 10:12:04 pm »
I was reading about using a tipi as an emergency shelter and started thing why wouldn't this work all the time. A little googling produced this great pictorial how to....

Looks super simple to make. No fancy seems, just edge sewing for the most part. No poles to carry. The benefit is you could even have a open fire inside or still use your stove and have the pipe go straight up. The secret to venting the smoke is to have a channel at the bottom of the tent going to the fire.

There are lots of up sides, just can't see too many bad sides to it. Anybody tried it?

Other Homemade Gear / Making a Baker/Campfire/Mason tent.
« on: February 02, 2009, 06:03:35 pm »
So I found the local TimBr Mart has canvas drop clothes for $42. 12x15 feet :o

Judging by the plans in the Conover's book this will be enough to make one tent.

The only other thing I need to begin is the nylon strapping and the brass grommets.

Like the Anorak I built, I am going to keep the plans simple and the tent will be functional but not fancy.

Between this is and the Anorak I will have more than saved the $160 I paid for the sewing machine.


Other Winter Camping Gear / Snowshoe Repairs
« on: January 30, 2009, 01:40:45 pm »
I got a price today to repair 3 pairs of snowshoes. $129 to varnish and re-lace using monofilament. Now I don't think that is a bad price, but for the same price I can buy brand new ones with babiche lacing.

Any thoughts?

Other Winter Camping Gear / Naptha Lanterns
« on: January 25, 2009, 10:40:51 pm »
I tried to light my Coleman Lantern last night, but it wouldn't go. The temperature was -25C.

Could it have been the lantern or the cold?

I also have a old coleman flameless naptha heater. This I know work, I lit it during the summer. Do these give off enough heat to keep your tent warmer through the night. Is there CO2 issues using one of these in a tent?

General Winter Camping Discussion / The winter kitchen
« on: January 08, 2009, 08:30:52 am »
There is no category for this (hint hint) but I have a few questions that all relate to cold camping.

Because things cool off so quickly I imagine you need to cook differently in the winter tha  you would normally in the warmer weather.

Is cooking over a fire a must?
If so do you bring a grill?
There are no rocks to build a proper base for your grill so do you use green wood?

I have a full set of cast iron cookware, is it worth the weight to bring these?

Washing dishes seems like it could be an excersize in futility. I can't imagine ever getting the dishes dry when the temperature is -30C

Boil in the bag or instant freeze dried meals seem like they may be way easier but I try to avoid these. They are not good for you and rarely satisfy my hunger after a day on the trail or paddling.

Bringing fresh ingredients is all of a sudden possible with out the fear of spoiling, what kinds of foods do you bring? Canned foods will freeze, does this affect their taste? Does it cause them to spoil?

So there are a few question I would like to know.

Other Homemade Gear / Started my Anorak today
« on: January 03, 2009, 08:57:29 pm »
I spent Friday roaming(not really roaming I was on a mission) the mean streets of Thunder Bay and the best I could come up with is painters canvas. I also picked up the canvas drop clothes from Cambodian Tire. I think they are the same material. If anything the painters canvas is a tighter weave.

I am not going to follow the Conover's plan exactly simply because I can't understand them fully because I have never sewn.

Also their plans are for a mens medium. I am a Large with two big X's in front so I am kinda guessing where to add and how much as well as trying to figure out where not to add.

For those who have done their own sewing, not you Glen because we know your idea of sewing involves pulling out your wallet, I have a few questions....

What type of stitch did you use? Can you post pictures of the stitching? For those that have used the Canvas drop clothes, did they work for you?

Books, DVD's, Films and Magazines / Snowshoes and Solitude
« on: December 29, 2008, 09:59:06 pm »
Just finished watching this DVD. Two thumbs up.

It was not as how to as I would have liked but it did show some great things like the lampwick ties on the snowshoes. Showed how it is to travel in very very deep snow in snowshoes and the progression of winter and more importantly spring. It talked about giarda and demonstrated how traditional clothing is effective in keeping warm in temperatures in around -40 to -50.

Overall a good DVD to go in my collection

General Winter Camping Discussion / Site Improvement ideas
« on: December 29, 2008, 03:33:57 pm »
Can we add a section for dogsledding?

Also, the snow conditions section are out of date. Should all last year snows reports be removed or archived so only this years conditions are visible.

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / More Red Lake Exploring
« on: December 26, 2008, 07:59:30 pm »
Today Harlan and I headed out to try a bit more hunting before the season closes next week.

Weather was very warm around -10 to -5C. Skies were overcast and there was a light snow falling. The snow was deep and fluffy.

We travelled through an area that had about a 10 year growth after a cut. The moose activity in here was amazing but after a few hours of trudging through knee deep snow we moved on to another area.

Just seems there is wilderness as far as the eye can see. Incredible scenery.

We found some great evidence of grouse. When they bed down at night they dive into the deep snow and being buried like that offers a good insulating blanket. There were no less than 10 of these bird beds.

You can see how deep they get in there.

And at the bottom of the holes is a sure sign they were here.

And after a full day of trudging Harlan got his prize. The smile on his face says it all.

What I should have got a shot of is Harlan shooting the bird with my gun and it knocking him right onto his ass. :D

Overall there are soooooo many places to explore here in the Red Lake Region. We were only 25 kms out of town.

Back Country Skiing Discussion / ?Binding choice?
« on: December 11, 2008, 09:06:41 pm »
I currently have SNS but the kids are growing and need new boots. Their feet are big for 9 and 10 year olds. Size 8 and 9. So as their feet approach me and my wife's sizes I see the opportunity to upgrade our boots and give them our old stuff.

I want to go skiing on the lake, do some back country skiing and off course I still like to go on the trails.

I like the SNS so far except the snow and ice that gets clogged in the toes. Are there any advantages to the NNN? Do the Berwin bindings give the same support and control you get with the NNN and SNS.

Let's hear your experiences and opinions please. 

General Winter Camping Discussion / Making sure your truck starts
« on: December 07, 2008, 06:59:42 pm »
Parking your truck at the end of some remote bush road for the week while you are gone there is usually no plug ins. How do you ensure your truck or whatever you drive starts after being parked in -40 temps for a week?

General Winter Camping Discussion / Foggy Glasses
« on: December 07, 2008, 06:54:41 pm »
How do you deal with foggy glasses? When I start going hard my glasses almost always fog up, Any tips or tricks out there to deal with this issue?

Winter Camping Clothing / Good Price on Codet Wool Pants
« on: November 22, 2008, 09:55:24 pm »

Grey's are 69 and greens are 89. Not the cheapest I have seen but cheaper than most places I have seen recently.

Other Homemade Gear / Fabric Sources
« on: November 17, 2008, 07:36:48 pm »
I bought the sewing machine a while ago and as of yet have not found a source for fabric. I have checked all the surrounding Home Depots, Cambodian Tires and Home Hardwares and have found no cotton drop clothes. They are all plastic.

Fabric section of Wal Mart does not carry anything that remotely looks like that cloth. Closest thing was denim for blue jeans.

So not a big deal I can order it from Winnipeg but I am not sure what to ask for. What is the exact type of cotton fabric I am looking for. Is there a measurement of cotton thickness like sheet metal? I don't want to end up with a big bolt of heavy heavy canvas nor do I want something thinner than bed sheets.

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