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Topics - Zelandonii

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Trip Reports / Haliburton, quick 2 niter (Feb 9-11) trip report
« on: February 14, 2018, 09:08:16 am »
Fellow trekkers,

I just want to quickly share some pics of our recent trip. It's been a long while for me since my last backcountry haul-in trip, which I really miss. This year, a friend of mine wanted to try it. We cautiously only planned a 2-nighter since he wasn't sure how comfortable he would be out there. He suffers from Raynaud's, which leads his extremities to get cold very quickly. But he packed a tonne of hot shots for when we were out tramping. I did guarantee him heat when we're back at camp, which he wasn't so sure about :) Overall it was an amazing trip and he looks forward to a much longer trip next season. Temps were perfect hovering around -10C, with non stop light flurries all wknd. Onto the pics...

Our home for 3d. This is my custom conversion egyption cotton tent from many moons ago (tent frame utilizes Eureka's Timberline frame). The original tent came with T-style door zippers which are great for opening it up for setting up and loading wood. Total tent weight is under 20lbs.

Wood's always a bit of a chore near our "designated site" since we're surrounded by mostly pines. A quick 5min trek gets us to some nice hardwood.

Rear shot of the tent. For this trip, I didn't use an elbow so the pipes were unsupported.

The original tent was German-made with incredible attention to detail . I incorporated the original tag to credit the German awesomeness.

My pal and his super neon yellow/green jacket during our day trip to a nearby lake. We're both avid cyclists and I swear, the guy brought mostly his cycling clothes for this trip. We had many discussions of what clothing was suitable for winter trips (ie more loosely fitted clothes and breathable fibers).

Our sad attempt at fishing. Most of the time, we spent eating lunch and tossing a plate in lieu of a frisbee (to stay warm), which is generally a standard piece of gear but forgot to pack on this trip. No fish were harmed from our pathetic attempt...

Relaxing after a wood-haul trip.

Post-dinner entertainment involved a few games of chess, whiskey and pipes. I usually turn into a pipe smoker when I camp with my friend. It is a nice and relaxing ritual as we settle in for the night.  Btw, in the background is my homemade sheet metal stove (Version 2). Version 1 was straight out of Dave Hadfield's instructions from nearly 15yrs ago. The man is a legend and really was a huge resource for getting my gear set up. Thanks Dave!

Unhappy selfie on the haul out. I'm unhappy because our trip is over. It was also snowing pretty well that morning.

Thanks for looking.

As an avid cyclist and camper, I thought this video was incredible. Sure, one might question some of his winter gear choices but man, this guy's determination is inspiring. The power of the human spirit....

Self-shot and edited whilst cycling around the world, this short film charts my winter journey into the Canadian Arctic as I completed my bike ride up the American continent. Compelled by Jack London’s assertion, that ‘any man who is a man can travel alone’, I sought an adventure of perfect solitude. Yet, as I came to realise, the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable environment were a long way from the romantic images I’d held of this land. The Frozen Road is an honest reflection on my solo trip; of the wonder, terror and frustration I experienced when riding through the unforgiving emptiness of one of the world's 'last great wildernesses'.—Ben Page

Fellow Trekkers, I'm finally looking to come out of "winter camping retirement" this season.

I'm curious if anyone here is local to the Huntsville or Bracebridge area. I'm looking to do a short trip in a couple of weeks. Requirements are:
- decent/plowed parking
- 1-2hr haul in
- decent ice-fishing would be nice,  tho not mandatory
- land or lake travel, doesn't matter

Right now, our top and familiar choice is to go to the Poker Lakes area in Haliburton. I've done several trips off Big East and we could just as easily go back there. But I certainly wouldn't mind camping in crown land.


Classifieds / For Sale - Anorak - (size Small)
« on: January 12, 2018, 01:03:44 pm »
Fellow Trekkers!!! Happy New Year.

I'm putting up my custom-made Anorak for sale. This thing just sat in my closet for a few years as our family grew and I never made it out to do any real winter trips. I figured that it's time to finally get rid of it.

The anorak is made of a medium weight canvas. It is mostly single layered with the exception of the front which is double layered. The weave to me looks/feels tight. I've added my own customizations (belt loops, removable coyote ruff, decorative wooden buttons and a cinch strap for the hood). This thing is brand new, clean and still feels crispy. Sizing is what I would consider on the small side, perfect for anyone under 5'4" and 130-ish. I've done my best to show critical measurements for you to refer to. I should add that this anorak was professionally sewn up by a local tailor.

I'm not putting a price on it but would like to set up an auction that will end by Tues at 9PM Eastern. Just post your price here please. I don't really care for the money and will plan to donate part of it back towards this most awesome site.

Shipping will be at your cost. It will come from the Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. You can figure out the shipping yourself using my postal code (L0R-1B5) and rough dimensions of 18"x10"x2", 4lbs. I can also potentially meet you in person if you're in Southern Ontario (along the QEW or Hwy 400 between Toronto and Huntsville).

Thanks and happy bidding. PM me or post here if you have any questions.

Third try posting this....

Up for grabs is an old lightweight canvas (label says finest imported long strand cotton) that I was given a few years back. I've been saving it as another hot-tent conversion project down the road but realistically, I don't see that happening for a while. The tent is in great shape and was always stored indoors. Converting this tent would be easy. It comes with a vinyl tub floor which would be cut out and converted into the sod cloth. The mesh windows can be sealed up using the same material or with vinyl. It shouldn't take more than a weekend to do all of this. I do have the steel poles that went with it.

The tent is in Niagara but I can meet anywhere along the QEW/427/401/400 (Burlington, Oakville, etc...) next time I'm on my way north.

I don't have time to set it up but the tent is orange and looks similar to the one below.

I'm offering it for free but if you offer a case of a finely crafted brew, I won't say no :)

Classifieds / Kelly Kettle Trekker Small - Best Offer?
« on: April 19, 2016, 07:54:43 am »
Hi Everyone,

Spring clean-up time....anyone interested in a gently used Kelly Kettle? It's in great shape and really only used a handful of times (haven't used it over 7yrs). It's a great little rig to quickly boil water for some trailside tea.

More info:
A Highly Efficient Outdoor Camp Kettle, this Kelly Kettle is suitable for Trekkers, Hikers, Kayakers, Backpackers, Bikers, and all outdoors enthusiasts who need to keep their pack light. This lightweight Kelly Kettle is also suitable for Car Camping, Wilderness Survival Kits and Emergency Disaster Kits.

Because there is no need to carry fuel, this Kelly Kettle will keep your pack light and save you money at the same time - never worry about running out of fuel again!  Using any naturally occuring solid fuel such as sticks, pine cones, dry grass and even dry animal dung; this  Kelly Kettle will operate perfectly, even in stormy conditions and will bring 2.5 cups (.59L or 20 oz) of water to a rolling boil within a matter of minutes.

If more hot water is required, this Kelly Kettle will easily boil water quickly for a party of 4-6 people, simply refill the kettle and place it back on the fire base and refuel the chimney again. The kettle will boil again within a matter of minutes where water can be used for more hot drinks, bathing, and washing up.

Fits Perfectly in any Backpack. Lighten your load with the Aluminum Kelly Kettle Trekker.

Note: The fire bases invert partially up into the bottom of your Kelly Kettle to make the unit as compact as possible for transporting and storage.

 Product Dimensions:

Height ....... 12 inches
Diameter.... 5.5 inches
Capacity.....20 fl. Ounces, 2.5 cups, .59L
Weight.......1.3 lbs.

I'll leave the ad until the end of the week. Just post your best offer price. Btw, shipping will be at your cost. The kettle will be mailed out from L0R-1B5 (Southern Ontario, Canada) unless you can arrange to pick it up.


General Winter Camping Discussion / Snowkiting and winter-camping
« on: February 22, 2013, 02:17:48 pm »
I recently came across the video below of a couple of guys that did an expedition trip using skiis and kites in Sweden. Being an avid kiter, I've always wanted to do a trip like this but unfortunately, we don't have the same open, tree-less tundra landscape as the Swedes. The closest thing we have are vast open lakes, which introduce the element of unsafe ice when you start getting into larger lakes.

In case you've not heard of snowkiting, this is a relatively new "traction" sport that involves harnessing wind power and propelling yourself on land or water. It can be a pretty radical sport, especially when you get into the water version, more commonly referred to as kiteboarding. I've been an avid kiteboarder for almost 4yrs now and can't think of any other activity more thrilling than this.

You definitely have the ability to cover some serious ground, as it's easy to travel 20km/hr with the right set-up and wind speed.

Trip Reports / 4d at Silent Lake Provincial Park...lots of pics :)
« on: February 22, 2013, 10:19:56 am »
Going into our 2nd year of winter-camping with our kid, who is now 3.5yrs od, we decided to again head out to Silent Lake for 4days. The conditions were incredible: nice deep snow for 'shoeing and skiing and not too cold. It def wasn't an issue keeping our daughter warm as daytime highs hovered around -2Cs and most nightime lows dipped into -5Cs. We did wish it to be slightly cooler, but hey, it made our lives easier. The only issue, and we really shouldn't complain, is that our tent was easy to overheat. It's an easy problem to solve tho, simply requiring partially opening our door.

To those not familiar with Silent Lake, the park offers a great winter camping program. For the fee that you pay ($30/site/night), you are provided with a supply of firewood and drinking water. Camping with a young one, this was important for us since it freed up a lot of the chore time so we can do more activities with our kid (ie skiing, 'shoeing, ice-fishing, snowplay, etc...). The winter campsites are also only a short 100m downhill walk from the parking area. I can't imagine hauling for long periods of time always worrying if my kid is staying warm.

Our four days at the park were wonderful. We managed a full XC ski day on the groomed trails and an ice-fishing day on the lake (no fish caught). Our last day there was treated with almost 15cm of new snow, which came down non-stop even while we were packing. It sure made for a wet and messy packing job.

Anyway, here are some pics to share:
Our tent partially draped over the frame (for those curious about our set-up...the internal is a Eureka 6M Outfitter frame, tent is custom/home-made). It's not visible in the pic, but the frame is freestanding with the bottom ends connected via some ropes so the whole frame is tensioned. I did this to allow the frame to structurally support the full 15lb-weight of the tent as I drape it over.

Ridge pole and connector

Partial front

10inch steel snowstakes (came with the tent)

The tent itself is german-made from about 30yrs ago. I kept the tag to show its origin

My stove pipe with the T-cap. You'll notice some pegs protruding through the pipes. I use these to secure all my pipes.

Our site

Our floor set-up. After tramping the floor we use Typar (housewrap) as our ground sheet as well as closed-cell playmats. The playmats, while bulky to pack, are nice and thick and provide very good insulation. Our floor coverage is about 6ftx6ft, which is accomodates 3 comfortably.

Our stove (home-made)

Firewood split and ready

The bottom of my stove is comprised of 1.5ft long folding steel pole legs that rest on footings that are sunken in the snow. This provides a very stable set-up. The stove doesn't sink at all but I do need to insulate the area underneath the stove well. I usually lay down an oven foil liner as well as a supply of kindling underneath.

I designed the door to have wooden handles for both the sliding draft door and door latch. This allows me to operate the stove with bare hands. The wooden pieces are painted black to match :)

Here's the stove fire up. You can see the false floor inside as well as the reinforced door.

When we settle in for the day, we lay down our snow-shoes (made in Newfoundland by Jack Carey) on the floor to avoid potholing.

For lighting, we love using candles. Since I couldnt' find candleholders designed for camping, I made my own using a wide-based, somewhat deep can container (from canned salmon). I rivetted a receptacle for the candle and a folding handle (using a keychain ring).

To dry our stuff, we take full advantage of having a ridge pole. I've re-bent some wire clothes-hangers to hang most of our big stuff, which are all pushed near the back of the tent. Gloves and small ticket items are hung near the front.

In case it's not obvious, I love making and repurposing stuff. Here are my daughter's snowshoes made from mountain bike tires and curtain rod frame. The bindings are just a combination of 1" and 3" webbing

Here's some night-time entertainment (a game of mastermind)

On our first full day, we headed out for an epic ski outting on classic groomed trails. The trails are actually groomed wide enough for skate-skiing if that's your thing.

A game of war on our 2nd evening...

Heading out to ice-fish with my 6" Fin-bore and 2-man portable hut. I normally don't travel this heavy but I brought our full gear in case my kid wanted to jig a little.

I set-up my hut mid-lake and caught nothing. My wife claimed that she got a bite. Oh well, our rig ended up being a nice and warm lunch spot.

Playing in the snow

Celebrating V-day

Here's my daughter's winter-camping chair which I scored from a thrift store. If I'm not mistaken, Therma-rest copied this design for their's :)

On Valentine's eve, I baked a cake over the woodstove (used a frying pan and a lid that held some hot coals on top). Here we're decorating the cake.

The final product

On our last night, we were treated with 15cm of new snow. It was beautiful.

The snow in the morning, combined with a strong wind, sure made me appreciate my fur ruff.

While we were busy packing, my daughter found many ways to entertain herself. Here she decided to make snow "boobs".

While I packed our gear, my wife was tasked with hauling our stuff back up to the car. It's only a 100m walk but uphill outbound. Of course, what kid wouldn't want sled rides. Since we loosely packed, my wife had to endure 5trips. Hehe.

A happy winter camping family :)

Thanks for looking.

Sleds and Toboggans / My new 9ft-er UHMWPE sled
« on: February 20, 2013, 09:10:43 am »
Motivated by my friend "fisherman" and inspired by other wintertrekkers who shared their sled projects, I took on a weekender project of building my own UHMWPE sled. The plastic was sourced out of Kitchener and hardware from local stores. All hardware used were stainless steel to avoid corrosion. Cross-braces were made out of maple. Lashing lines were made out of coated steel cables meant for clotheslines. Total project cost is under $130. 

The design on paper :P

Pre-drilling the half-hole lashing line guide

Rounding out the edges of the lashing line guides

This is what one of the lashing line guides looks like

The cross-braces prepped with sunken in stainless steel nuts to receive tapered #8-32 stainless steel bolts.

Here's one done...stained. The glossy finish that you see is varnish that I dabbed over the drill holes to futher protect the wood. The rest of the crossbrace is simply stained (no varnish) to allow the wood to dry. I didn't want any moisture to get trapped in the wood. I'm not sure if this is a good idea.

Another shot of the cross-braces as well as my lashing line.

The front grab handle using coated steel cable and PVC water piping that I had laying around. At some point, I'll cushion the PVC with either a closed cell padding or pipe insulation for a more comfortable grip. It actually doesn't take much effort to re-curl the lip. My tow lines connect via biners through the protruding eyebolts.

The front curl detail. I used four eyebolts with two of them partially open so I can undo the curl in the off season so the sled can be stored flat.

The rear detail. Again, I used eyebolts should I need to connect my biner-engaged pulling poles/ropes on big downhills.

The whole sha-bang, just waiting for it's maiden voyage.

Thanks for checking.

Winter Camping Clothing / the Perfect Mitt?
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:00:01 am »
I'm looking to make my own gauntlet mitts with materials that I've got kicking around the house. In particular, I've got some tanned deer hide, seal skin, wool (old sweaters), and some 10oz canvas.

I'm looking to incorporate the features and functionality of what's deemed to be the best pair of mitts out there. In no particular order, I'm thinking of having:
- leather palm
- windproof back of hand (maybe use the seal skin here)
- mitt length should go up to forearm
- thick removable wool liner
- i'm thinking of oversizing the liner big enough to accomodate a thin base pair of wool or fleece gloves (in case i need more dexterity)
- cinchable wrist

From what I've seen, ECW has the best pair around.


Winter Camping Clothing / Just another anorak.....
« on: January 16, 2013, 08:00:26 am »
Hey All,

I thought I'd share some pics of my recent anorak project. A combination of a lack of time and laziness to search for decent canvas, I resorted to Ebay to find an anorak decent price. After an arduos search, one came up that I was able to snag at a decent price.

The orignal anorak was sized XL, made of double-layered 10oz canvas and designed after Conover's plans. Apart from resizing, there were many modifications that I wanted to make it more functional. Here's what I ended up doing:
- Re-sizing the whole anorak to a size Small-Medium (I had to hire my local tailor for this since two layers of canvas is a little too thick to work with using my machine).
- Removed the 2nd canvas layer at the arms and back to save weight and to improve flexibility.
- In place of a voyageur sash as a belt, I added three belt loops (one at each side and one at the back) to hold a wide cotton belt that i snagged at my local thrift store. The belt actually colour-matched the anorak. what are the chances!!!
- Added a hood cinch at the back
- Added 1"diameter cherry branch buttons to tighten the neck when necessary.
- Added a removable coyote fur ruff.

Now for the pics....

I can't wait to try it out if ever we get snow in Southern Ontario :(

When winter finally arrives and decides to stick around here in South/Central Ontario...... :'( I'd like to get some input on where to do a 3-5day trip that will offer:
- within 4hrs drive from Niagara Falls area (5hrs is okay)
- parking access
- good to decent fishing (doesn't matter what I'm catching, so long as they're in season)
- somewhat devoid of skidoers (or not too many)
- land travel preferred, tho I'm willing to haul over a lake or two
- crown land would be nice but not necessary

I realize that due to my fishing requirements, some may be hesitant to post publicly so please send me a PM (or email). Fishing is not my primary reason for getting out but I do enjoy ice-fishing as part of my winter-trips.

For reference, I've done trips in Algonquin, Haliburton (Big East area) and Kawarthas (Silent Lake). Currently, Haliburton is an area that meets most of my requirements (exception being it's not crown land where we've been). I'll likely go back there if I don't find a suitable area to explore.

Thanks in advance.

Sleds and Toboggans / Flattening of an UHMWPW sled for storage?
« on: January 14, 2013, 07:06:35 am »
I'm thinking of building a sled with an "undoable" front curve/curl for summer storage, effectively flattening the whole sled.

Anyone do the same?

Tents and Shelters / 3ftx5ft aluminized fabric - want one?
« on: November 19, 2012, 08:48:30 am »
Hi All,

I found an Ebay-er selling some aluminized fabric in the US. They are willing to ship for free into Canada if I put in a large order.

I'm looking to install this fabric on my wall directly behind the stove to protect the canvas from the excess heat.

Want one? There's 8 available.

Other Homemade Gear / 3ftx2.5ft seal skin - what to do with it?
« on: November 01, 2012, 11:15:11 am »
We long ago inherited a seal skin that I now am contemplating at turning into a useful piece of winter gear.

Any recommendations, and perhaps some guidance on "how to"?


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