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Topics - DMarrone

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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 / 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.

Lure of the North / Welcome!
« on: November 03, 2017, 08:11:38 am »
Thanks for your interest and visiting our forum! 

Lure of the North is owned and operated by Dave and Kielyn Marrone.  This company is a dream of ours that we operate out of our remote wilderness property in northeastern Ontario.  We provide guided snowshoe expeditions from 3 - 18 days in length, gear crafting workshops across Ontario, and a wide range of traditional winter travel clothing and equipment including finished products and DIY kits. 

Looking forward to continuing to connect with the fantastic members of this community in the years to come!

Tents and Shelters / Snowtrekker Yurt
« on: February 08, 2017, 10:52:35 am »
After heaping years of (ab)use onto the original Snowtrekker yurt, we decided this was the year to retire it.  We love the design of the tent for communal meals and a nice social atmosphere, so after chatting with Duane at last year's Winter Camping Symposium he agreed to recreate our beloved yurt for us! 

The inaugural setup, I hauled it into a back corner of our property to be used as the mess tent for this year's "Training Camp":

The components laid out in the snow, from left to right:
guy lines and perimeter line; "elbows and crown"; leg poles; perimeter poles; rafters; exterior guy poles; tent & floor.  Frame bag and tent bag shown in front.

Legs and perimeter assembled. We permanently connect the elbows to the legs.  Electrical tape at the moment, but will change to pop rivets once we're sure everything is how we'd like it.

A perimeter line is passed through rings installed on each of the "elbows", this is pulled tight to tension the frame and ensure components don't come loose while erecting the tent.   

The rafters are connected via the crown.  We call this the "kneeling" position of the tent.  At this point, the tent fabric is pulled over the frame.  A stove jack at the peak of the tent fits perfectly over the "crown", which helps in locating the tent perfectly over the frame each time. 

Once the tent is over the frame, everyone grabs an elbow and moves the tent to the "standing" position.  Its helpful to have a minimum of 3 people at this point, so everyone is responsible for 2 legs, and everyone rotates at the same time to keep the tent elevated while being erected.  6 people, one per leg, makes this a real breeze.  We have done this with 2, but try to avoid it.

Anyone who has used a recent model of ST tent, will be familiar with the exterior guy poles.  I think these are a fantastic way to guy out the tents.  With the full interior frame of the yurt, these exterior guy lines are for stability only and don't significantly change the shape of the tent (the way they would on a shortwall model, for example).  With 6 guy lines setup this tent is bombproof. 

Training Camp all setup and puffing away!  Left to Right: 2p EXP crew; yurt; 4p EXP basecamp.

The new iteration of the yurt has taller sidewalls, meaning seating goes right back to the walls.  The perimeter line is a great "closet" to hang clothes and keep things tidy yet accessible, while the high clotheslines are used for drying.  The welded ring on the "elbow" easily carries a 10l water bladder, though I'm not sure if Duane would endorse that!

There is a ton of space for drying clothing for a big group.  In fact the other tent denizens will often bring in spillover clothing to the yurt to take advantage of the extra line space. 

You can see the unused stove jack in the peak of the tent. For a small or experienced group a central stove with lots of pipe inside the tent is amazing for efficient and consistent heat through the tent. We use an alternative jack on the sidewall of the tent to push the stove to one side.  Less efficient heating, but safer for a large group and less disruptive to the cook.

Not clear in the picture: using pop rivets we've added little moose hide loops to the rafters.  3 loops per rafter, to hold the 3 concentric clotheslines.  Tieing the uppermost clothesline during setup (while in the kneeling position) helps to keep all the rafters securely in place while erecting the tent.

The new yurt easily accommodated 12 people at meal time!  (Sleeps up to 8 comfortably I would say).

We loved the original version of this tent and were loathe to get rid of it.  The taller sidewalls and some frame improvements on the new version have made it even better, and we're counting on using this tent on our guided trips for years to come. 

This tent isn't online yet, but I believe is essentially ready to be produced.  Duane figures it will come in at around $2750, not surprising given the framework involved in this tent.  It is a beautiful living space for a  mid to large group and always the central hub of camp life when we have multiple tents on the go.

I'll have more photos over the next couple of trips, but if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer!

Ontario & Quebec / Great news for the Great Lakes area!
« on: November 22, 2016, 11:14:24 am »

In the lead-up to winter I'll often cherry-pick any forecast that calls for a cold, snowy winter and disregard the rest.  Here's a bit of good news for anyone else clammering for a cold winter around the Great Lakes!  Below normal temps and above average precip!  Bring it on!

Classifieds / LotN Clearance Sale
« on: August 18, 2016, 03:06:16 pm »
Hi Folks,

Sorry for the ad, but I hope its of value or interest to some. 

I'm having a clearance sale to start turning over some of our fleet of expedition gear, plus some retail gear that didn't quite pan out the way we wanted, some excess summer stuff, etc.

I have a few Snowtrekker tents, some Kni-Co stoves, lots of toboggans, lots of monoline snowshoes, and various other stuff ready to move.

Thanks for taking a look, and if you find it worthwhile, please pass on to others!

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / Pontax River, March 2015
« on: August 10, 2016, 01:14:08 pm »
With another Heat Advisory taking hold in Ontario, I thought some of you might enjoy some footage of a colder, gentler time.  From the Pontax River and Rupert Bay coast in Northern Quebec, March 2015.  With the missus starting to take over video editing, I'm hoping we'll actually get some of our backlog released!

Winter Camping Clothing / Moccasin Making Videos
« on: August 06, 2016, 04:41:07 pm »
Hi folks,

Its been a while since I've joined in on the discussions here as a move to a new wilderness property has kept me hopping, but I'm keen to continue contributing to the winter trekking community.  My wife, Kielyn, is working on a series of winter moccasin ("mukluk") making videos. 

The first can be found on YouTube here:

The second is here:

And more are coming down the pipe as fast as she can edit them. 

For my part, I'm hoping to do the same with snowshoe weaving and get those published sometime this month.  If you haven't started, its high time to start prepping for winter as it'll be here before we know it!

Classifieds / FREE Acton Rubber overboot (gently used or new)
« on: July 06, 2014, 09:26:38 pm »
I'm doing some purging and have a few pairs of Acton Rubber Overboots available free of charge.  You can pay to have them shipped to you, or pickup in Sudbury. 
Sizes/ more info available here:

Hope everyone is enjoying the shortening days and the coming of winter!

Food and Cooking / Food weights for 40 day winter trip
« on: April 06, 2014, 11:57:27 am »
I was digging through resources today, and realized this may be of interest.  This is from a 40-day (actually looks like 38 from the menu) trip in Feb & Mar 2010.  I measured and recorded all foods taken with us on trip, and all food that came back, thus finding the amount of food consumed on trip.  Also shows percentages of nutrients (fat/ carb/ protein), and even calories / gram, which I found very interesting.  For example: a fatty sausage, though delicious, only provides 3.1 calories / gram, while peanut butter provides 6.7 cal / g! 

Edited to link to corrected files:

Open Office:

Trip Reports / "Toboggin Loggin"
« on: April 01, 2014, 12:06:56 pm »
This past weekend, Kielyn and I took advantage of incredible early spring weather to head to her dad's camp and clean up some of the winter's downed trees.  In particular, there was one enormous spruce that we wanted to section up and move while we still had snow to haul it on. 
Temps were ~ -10 at night, and +5 during the day (but much warmer in the sun).  Though there's still about 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground east of Parry Sound, there have been enough freeze-thaws now to allow for "no-shoeing" conditions for much of the morning before the snow pack warmed back up. 

Here's Kie sectioning up the big spruce - there's still about 30' of trunk below this section!

And a couple of sections on the lake, ready to be hauled back to where we'll mill them once the snow melts:

It was a great weekend, with perfect weather and ice/ snow conditions for working and hauling.  Unfortunately there's never enough time to do everything that's planned: there's still some more of that big spruce that I'd like to move before the snow melts, and some maples that came down in the fall that I'd like to turn into chisel handles.  I guess its a great excuse to get out there again soon :)

Classifieds / GV Ratchet/ Crampon Bindings for Traditional Snowshoes
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:58:24 am »
For sale: GV ratchet bindings with crampons, designed for traditional snowshoes.  (Models 7W-S & 7W-L)
Retails for ~ $60, I'm selling them for 25% off, or $45.

I bought these bindings a couple of years ago intending to see how well the crampon performed on bearpaw snowshoes in the bush.  I've since decided crampons are more often than not a detriment for what I'm doing, and they have never been installed. 

I have one of each size.  The 7W-small is still in the package, the 7W-large is no longer packaged, but brand new.

I'll ship them within Canada for $10.
To the US, or international, I'll ship actual cost (likely $20 for USA and more for internationals).

Winter Camping Photos and Videos / Beautiful Ontario Imagery
« on: March 17, 2014, 11:39:20 pm »
I typically avoid posting about our commercial trips... but the following images are just too good not to share  :).  These were taken by Dave and Deb of the Planet D, who joined us for our Missinaibi Headwaters trip last month.


(BTW, at the bottom of the page are links to a variety of other articles that Dave and Deb wrote about our adventure, with lots of other great images).

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