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Messages - GearFreak

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News & Events / Re: Nothing...
« on: August 15, 2019, 12:22:55 pm »
Saw the first small flock of geese fly overhead honking yesterday - made the blood get all excited for opening week in a 2 1/2 weeks.

Shot 95 the other day and hit low 90's more times this year than last and in the playoffs again, hope we play well.
Went canoeing with my daughter and pup and heading out next weekend with son in law for back country canoe and fish weekend.   

Have a 2nd sled to get ready for winter so I can drag Chris deeper than we can walk!  ;D ;D

and my bathroom is almost finished being renovated.

moved the toboggan to my shed if that counts as winter related

In the event I don't get to say it in the future:

Take care Moondog!

Yes, life sucks sometimes.  I will remember your enthusiasm, how your posts made me realize how fortunate I was to be born where I was.  I am quite certain that a segment of our population will wish they could trade spaces with you , but we are where we are.   Enjoy getting out in the manner you can, and when you can.  It may not be -30, the snow and forest may not be the same, but make the best of getting out and the earth we inhabit.

Thanks again Moondog for giving us a view from a different perspective.


I am a recent convert to FB.  I have a simple philosophy of blocking any political posts and blocking "friends" that post or share political stuff - so far it seems to accomplish what I was seeking.

We have a local hiking trail group that shares backcountry info and seems to be moderated pretty well, plus I am able to access other hiking and backcountry groups that seem to limit the off topic stuff fairly well.  I do prefer the forum format, but times change and I had to do so as well.  Posting photos is pretty easy, but the blog style trip reports are harder to do. 

see ya all when the snow flies.

Question: for those that use smartphones (I don't), is this site smartphone friendly? Many people no longer use lap- or desktops, so if it is not, that could be part of the problem.

Not really mobile friendly from my attempts in the past.  Tapatalk is good for some of the other forums but wasn't able to work with this one - could be me.  I use computer.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Where in the world is HOOP?
« on: April 26, 2019, 10:17:24 am »
howdy gang,

I reached out to a fellow in Hoops location who knows him in the Physical world.  The response I received was limited as they didn't feel right responding to a rando on the internet but he would reach out to him and let him know people were concerned about him.

Life takes us all in many paths and priorities rise and fall depending on the urgency at the time. 

I see two major concerns here - one we are concerned about the person who did so much to get all of us into winter camping and helped provide this discussion platform, and the second is the business side of the site and the users needs. 

I hope the first is resolved favourably for Hoop.
The second is somewhat reliant on the first; however, I suspect that like trackshare and other forums this will eventually be replaced by facebook groups once the costs become prohibitive for the number of users remaining active and willing to fund it.

Enjoy the summer season everyone in the Northern hemisphere, and enjoy winter for those in the southern! I will still check back regularly but my attention is now on backpacking and canoeing!


Sleds and Toboggans / Re: Scares on the Bottom of My Toboggan
« on: March 29, 2019, 12:42:14 pm »
Mine has been dragged around the garage and has some pretty nasty deep gouges in the plastic.  It slides just fine unless I overpack.

Trip Reports / Re: 2nd time out and still tired!
« on: March 01, 2019, 04:03:04 pm »
The problem with this winter camping thing is that the gear is heavy.  Take your normal backpacking load, even at my luxurious style is about 45lbs, and add another 40 lbs of tent and stove.  Add extra warm clothing, base layers, and up the weight of the sleeping system and your adding another 10lbs.

So we now have 90 lbs on a sled.  if you don't split that tent load with someone or concentrate the load on a smaller pulk its going to be a beast. 

Now,  toss in tent setups like these, and you have easily upped the weight to over a hundred lbs.  Add ice fishing augers, photo gear, blah blah blah and you need a dog team, snow dog, etc to get backcountry!

Anyways, Coldfeet, as to your original post.  Best way to train for these excursions is to stay active all year around.   Hiking, biking, backpacking will all keep leg strength up and the other thing is cardio.  Breaking trail is key when faced with deep snow.  Chris and I have walked out ahead and then returned to haul the sleds.  Watch your elevation profiles and always try and prescout your locations in advance and even prep a camp (as Bioguide does) prior to make your chores easier.

Look forward to your video and I believe you post on that traditional Winter Camping FB page as well. 



Tents and Shelters / Re: Snowtrekker Tent Choice
« on: February 26, 2019, 03:58:12 pm »
9.5x11.5 EXP short wall and medium stove is what I have and I am happy with it.

I can get it hot enough even in the cold, but requires some mastery of the wood stove that has a learning curve.  I didn't learn how to make it really cook until I had spent some time with someone who knew how to coax these things.  Wood choice is also critical.

Bothwell Voyageur / Re: Thoughts on Tanks & Top Bags
« on: February 26, 2019, 03:55:52 pm »
Agree, that is why I made my top bag to go with the tank. 

My problem is my gear needs to go on a diet

I play too...
Let's try that nemesis for all our travel methods - Slush.

I was booting around a lake this weekend and ran into a slush pocket.  Now when I saw the prior track had that distinctive colour I went onto fresh snow and kept the throttle up.  all good.  On the way back I didn't and could feel the speed drop and opened it up more and coated my toboggan with ice. 

From the videos the snowdog looks to have enough jam to power thru.  BG - any experience yet?

I like the snowdog - and can see the usefulness of it especially in low snow years.  This year is more of a wide & long track year with extra width on the skiis.

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: February 23, 2019, 12:45:05 pm »
GF - do you weld?

Poorly, and it has been many years.  I did inherit a low power stick welder and have been itching for an excuse to justify it collecting dust.  This sounds like a reasonable project to start with!  small enough and useful!

I usually ask the guys in the shop if they can do something for me - they have the right equip and don't mind.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 22, 2019, 11:52:13 am »
I have also noticed that traditional narrow portage trails become much wider once they start to be used by vehicles.
I hear you, from what I can find the accepted route into many backcountry lakes is the summer portage trails. 
One reason I liked Quetico so much was the non motorized access and the feeling of isolation you get.

Although walking those trails out of  Mary Jane was much easier!

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 21, 2019, 09:53:13 pm »
I placed a call to the Rennie Office, initial contact had no information.  I left a message with the CO.  Will have to see what the say left my number or told him to find me on a lake!  Curious.

I expect someone created a policy to address an uptick in Winter Camping and leave some discretion to the actual park officers. I know Riding Mountain's rangers have discretion on whether to grant a backcountry random camping permit.

Saw on twitter the parks dept. was replacing some of the picnic tables in Two of the three lakes I have on my radar for this weekend.  (one of the pictures doesn't look recent - way more snow on the lakes!)  Either way I am downloading the sites to my GPS and if one is acceptable I may play nice.  At least at a designated site alcohol can be "legally" consumed!

But I agree with both your points.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:51:07 pm »
So - it has been quite a while since I spoke to anyone at the parks regarding winter camping.  back in 2013/2014 they thought we were all nuts and really had not considered that we would do this.  Well, that has changed. 

Note the following I found online - I will confirm my info with the park I am heading to before I leave but thought this may be interesting to other Manitoba based campers.

text reads:
Winter Camping in Provincial Parks
While developed campgrounds close for the winter season, there are several options for winter camping.  Whether you are hunting, ice fishing or looking for a thrilling winter adventure, you should first contact the respective Sustainable Development District Office for the park you wish to camp.  Staff will let you know what locations may be available and help you plan your visit.  Find contact info here: 
In provincial parks, any overnight camping permitted only in designated sites.  Any backcountry sites available in summer remain available for camping in the winter.  There are no fees for backcountry winter camping.  Winter camping is by tent only.
There are some options on maintained trails as well: • Spruce Woods Provincial Park –the Epinette, Seton and Yellow Quill trail systems offer several hike or ski in campsites, including the Jackfish Lake cabin.  Distances to sites range from 2 km to 20 km treks. • Turtle Mountain Provincial Park – you can ski on the Adam Lake trail system to the James Lake cabin for overnight use. There is no charge for camping or use of the Jackfish or James Lake cabins, but registration is required for any overnight use in these two parks.  For Spruce Woods, call our Carberry District Office at 204-834-8800; for Turtle Mountain, call our Boissevain District Office at 204-534-2028.
Organized groups may be able to use group use areas for winter camping.  Organizers need to submit a Special Event Application to do so, found here: 
Most parks do not have regular staff in the winter; routes are not maintained and there are no services.  You are camping and travelling at your own risk.  You must practice Leave No Trace and pack out everything you packed in, including trash and gear.   
For more information on winter camping in provincial parks, contact your local District Office, call us toll-free 1-800-2146497 or email [email protected].

Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Wood Stove with Windows
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:46:46 pm »
I have been thinking of sheet steel stock and may weld the edges and a hook like bit to slip over the hinge side allowing it to open as well. 

no matter what we come up with - BG wins the prize for the concept!

I will split the cost on a piece of glass (whatever it is) Undersky. (never mind - reread your post and I see you ordered it already!) 

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