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Messages - K.

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1
Hehe, I still have the cross-country skis I used on my first trips to Algonquin. Fischer 210s, 50mm wide, full on double cambered. They got chawed up but are still useable. If you're considering skiing somewhere like Algonquin, I think you will need metal-edges, which are generally a feature of back-country skis and not regular cross-country skis.  I don't think it's an either/or scenario; I use only snowshoes for pulling a toboggan, while the skis are only for day-touring. I've done a lot of trackset, but in my opinion there is no better ski than a lake-to-lake tour in Algonquin with some awesome runs along the portage trails or through hardwood glades in between. So if I had to bring just one, it would always be snowshoes.

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General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: The James Bay descent
« on: February 05, 2019, 09:29:01 PM »
That is thinking out of the box. For some reason I was thinking south-north with the term descent, but in the military sense of the term which could loosely apply to the absolute audacity of this scheme, there need not be a down gradient involved. I guess prevailing winds were one issue?

3
Tents and Shelters / Re: How cold before the stove can't keep up?
« on: January 25, 2019, 08:05:39 PM »
I had to look that up to see it's -36C, which is pretty chilly but I can say I've seen slightly south of -30 right here in Algonquin, on one or two occasions.  I didn't have any trouble. However, I've also had much warmer nights where I just didn't have the right firewood and couldn't get anything going, and as mentioned above the right wood is the key to everything. I find I just can't tell the difference to exclude the borderline wood, never have been able to. Sure, the obviously punky rotten and hollow wood is easy to avoid, but i've cut and split a surprising amount of solid and dry-looking free-standing wood only to find it just won't go! I'd use a moisture meter, except I don't think they work on frozen wood.

4
Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Russian Ti Stove on Ebay
« on: January 19, 2019, 08:04:44 PM »
I realized I didn't know the material thickness of my stove, which is made of Russian BT10 alloy, but I did know that the price is currently sitting at a whopping $970 US. Well, it's advertised as 26 gauge, or 470 um. And 6-8 weeks to ship. These guys are slightly thinner at 400 um, but 1 week to ship? from Russia? for 1/3 the price? What am I missing?

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Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Shovels
« on: January 11, 2019, 07:47:33 PM »
It does look like a good match for budding backcountry boarders who are looking to take down mark mcmorris at the big air event in 2022, but I might quibble with some of the use cases illustrated on the website. I have an aluminum snow shovel for home use, and incidental contact with mere gaps and lips in the sidewalk have bunged the leading edge all to heck.  This website does not give the gauge of the aluminum, other than to say it is 'twice as thick' as an avalanche shovel, but one of the other use cases is car/truck shovel, which in my case is steel and I wouldn't have it otherwise. If I was building jumps in the backcountry though, I would buy one of these without hesitation.

6
Trip Reports / Re: Cyprus Lake Dec 29-31
« on: January 02, 2019, 07:06:25 PM »
Great photo! BPNP is a bit of a cautionary tale in some ways. They've overachieved on summertime visits, but it sounds like they aren't making much of an effort in the wintertime. But the numbers are now saying the opposite should become the strategy. Maybe these guys tried to go cliff jumping in the summer and couldn't get grotto tickets! so they came back when there was no more crowds haha.

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Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: candle stick holders
« on: December 27, 2018, 05:00:15 PM »
Hmm, nice thought with the tube caps, I have the same plywood arrangement with just four holes drilled in the corners of it.  Never had any luck with the candle lanterns, kept spilling the liquid wax inside and then it gunked up the inside so it wouldn't close, and I got one of those Luci LED lamp things for my kids maybe they'll adopt the new technology, but for myself no substitute for a candle.

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Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Baffle for knico for sale
« on: December 23, 2018, 05:12:50 PM »
Similar reaction on the canoe pack page except it was a late afternoon beer in my case. Then I discovered they have a made in Ontario hot tent I'd never heard of and which doesn't particularly come with quite the same shock factor either. The pentagonal footprint was one that I had long envisioned for a two person tent, very intriguing to see that thinking come to reality.

9
Well that caught my attention, because when I bought mine it was shipped from northern BC.  So I checked and it wasn't hard to come up with the short history: the original  guy has since sold the business to the Alaskan guy.  So it's both, but if you believe in the geographic diversity of our two very large countries I'd suggest the real value here is in supporting a small 'northern' business, any one will do.   Great videos!

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Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Noob with Footwear Questions
« on: December 11, 2018, 08:30:57 PM »
Not sure I've got all this straight, but if you're talking about the western uplands trail, and a bunch of snow on the ground already, I'm not sure i'd count on finding it packed.  I saw the trail west of Namakootchie and Panther mid-season last winter, which is within 10km of the oxtongue access, and there wasn't a single bootprint or snowshoe track on it. We're kind of in between seasons right now so my guess is just about nobody has been out yet. Re footwear, I've done snowshoe trips with a backpack in sorels, toboggan trips in hiking boots (the big leather ones, not the medium-sized synthetic ones), day-hiking in sorels without much snow cover, and just recently  I've gotten myself a pair of leather 6" steeltoe workboots which I've been doing trailwork this November/December in wet conditions around the freezing mark. Based on my past experience with the hiking boots versus sorels, and my current experience with the work boots (which are de facto hiking boots except they don't have vibram-branded soles), I'm thinking it just might be wroth considering to go with them over the sorels. 19km is a long way to go with a load on your back and no ankle or sole support. With a pair of gaiters, and a few pairs of spare socks, the work boots could be a possibility even in wet/snowy conditions. I'd know I'd take them over the sorels for any sort of backpacking, but if your feet are youthful and resilient, the sorels will work and offer more of a safety margin for the wet/cold.

11
Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: small weather radios
« on: December 04, 2018, 09:29:25 PM »
I have had a Sangean DT-400W for about 6 years now and love it. It is very similar to the radio Jawax pointed out (C Crane CC WX).

We use it a lot. It is fun to pick up the local "cottage" radio station (MooseFM for all you Algonquin and Ontario campers) or CBC's Vinyl Tap on a Saturday night while lounging around a hot tent.

The weather radio function is also really great, especially on trips that get into the 5-10 or more days where the weather forecast you last read is no longer good.

Whatever you get, definitely get one with digital tuning. Some of those dial tune emergency ones are the worst, you have to keep tuning it from night to day, and as the temperature changes. 

http://www.sangean.com/products/product.asp?mid=83&cid=12

Hehe, I have an old grundig that isn't small and has wavy analog tuning that I have to keep adjusting and I broke the antenna trying to fix the reception all the time. In spite of all that, it was a bit of a revelation when I finally figured out  just how well radio matches up with the slower pace of a winter camping trip. And yes, vinyl tap is a favourite, followed by holger peterson, sunday morning with michael enright, I would never listen to that stuff at home, never take a radio in the summer, but it's perfect at the winter campsite.

12
Tents and Shelters / Re: Best way to fold a snowtrekker?
« on: December 01, 2018, 01:26:37 PM »
I've tried a few different ways and never come close to how neatly it was packed for shipping.

13
Well I recently ordered some footwear from those guys that remarkably didn't seem to be available anywhere else on the internet. It was an above average internet transaction for me since a lot of small businesses don't take Canadian orders via their website. Then the item arrived promptly in slightly overly careful packaging that was just enough to twig my attention. I still thought little of it all, but these testimonials have triggered a sudden realisation that they may in fact be just one of those exceptional small businesses that are few and far between.

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Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« on: November 09, 2018, 09:54:03 PM »
...The type of skiing I do is off trail bushwhacking. Typically lakes and ponds connected by overland marches through various forest types indicative of the Canadian Shield. I enjoy climbing up onto the top of open ridges and whalebacks and skiing down when there is a good base and powder. ...

For the precise type of skiing, I have a ski in 88-68-78. Along with the metal edges, that's a huge increase in downhill capability over what you currently run.I have the same 3 pin cables you mention, and leather boots.  I don't think my daily average is quite 20 km, but I blame that on my fitness, not my equipment! Prior to that I had E99's in an almost identical profile to those rangers. For me there's no question about the advantage of downhill control over speed on the flats. Going slow on the flats never got me into trouble, but not having a reliable turn while descending long portage trails or on gladed slopes often did.

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Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Four Dog Ti stove baffle
« on: November 08, 2018, 06:40:10 AM »
My four dog stove is so badly warped that when i'd recently brought it out after a few years of non-use, I was imagining that it had continued to warp while in storage. The warping is mostly on the top surface and in no way affects the operation of the door. Can't add much to the discussion except for a couple points. To the point about the heating of the metal, my reading on the topic informed that in addition to the question of conductivity, the emissivity is also lower than that of steel so it can't radiate energy as quickly; and that by chance i had happened to enquire about the alloy at the time I bought mine and he said it was BT10, which is a russian product. I'm sure the market for small quantities of titatnium is in constant flux and he has sourced a bunch of different ones over the years.

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