Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

View the most recent posts on the forum.

Messages - kinguq

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 37
This is a big topic and there is interesting (pre)historical context. The archaeological record provides no evidence that skis were ever developed in North America. Now, that may not be true, and I personally believe that skis were probably invented hundreds of times here but fell out of use. After all, people used toboggans, and it isn't a big step to strap smaller toboggans to your feet. But it is interesting to consider why skis did not catch on here.

I use both, depending on my mood and conditions. Skis are (sometimes) more fun to use. On a good day, there is a joy to the motion of skiing that snowshoeing just can't match. But it requires a higher skill level than snowshoeing. The equipment is also more "fussy", in that you have to deal with poles and wax and/or skins. And under certain conditions, e.g. variable temperatures in sun and shade around the freezing point, skis can become very frustrating to use.

For off-trail bush skiing, I really think ski skins are a necessity. It's not just about grip: they cut down on glide, too, and on heavily forested downhills, you don't actually want much glide.

I think flotation is over-rated for skis. Because of the shape of skis and the way they are used, it is almost impossible to get a usable ski with surface area (i.e. flotation) approaching that of a big traditional snowshoe. Do the math yourself if you don't believe that. So, in soft snow, you are going to sink on pretty much any ski. It then becomes a matter of how easy it is to push the ski through the snow. A narrower ski is easier to push through the snow, and will be lighter too. I have used big wide skis in the past, and I didn't find them easier under most conditions. But this is very much a minority opinion: most people seem to prefer short wide skis for the bush. I don't.

When towing a sled with skis, it is difficult to use a rope hitch in hilly bush country. Fine on the lakes. But it is just not as easy to move around and backwards on skis to get your sled out of trouble as it is with snowshoes. I prefer to use a solid hitch with skis, but that is difficult when bushwhacking through thick bush. Under those conditions, with a sled, I would use snowshoes and a rope hitch.

Snowshoes are better around camp for fetching wood, stamping platforms, etc. For that reason I generally take a pair of modern snowshoes on a ski camping trip.

Other than that, it is a matter of preference and skill. I like both, and will interchange between the two sometimes on the same trip. Incidentally it is quite possible to use ski boots in many snowshoe bindings, so there is no need to change your boots when switching.


Books, DVD's, Films and Magazines / Re: The Lure of the Labrador Wild
« on: March 25, 2019, 01:29:48 PM »
I have actually just been re-reading Lure. They were specifically told by Donald Blake that one could sail (i.e. in a sailboat) 15 miles up the Naskapi before coming to any rapids. On the Susan, they reached the first rapid after paddling a mile up the rocky stream. Hubbard thought that Blake must have been mistaken in his distances, and continued to believe that the Susan was the Naskapi right until the end.

As far as I can tell Hubbard did not even attempt to engage a local guide. George Elson was from the Moose River area and had no local knowledge.

It is a great story, well written and gripping. But for me at least, it is hard to comprehend how they made the mistakes they did. I guess hindsight is blinding.


Books, DVD's, Films and Magazines / Re: The Lure of the Labrador Wild
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:10:27 AM »
I found it interesting on the Hubbard expedition how little attention they payed to local knowledge. It surely would not have been impossible to find someone who would guide them at least to the mouth of the Naskapi. Instead they ascended what was basically a creek, called Susan Brook locally. Certainly a colossal navigational error and perhaps a sign of the arrogance of contemporary white "explorers". On the subsequent expeditions they did engage local people and went up the right river.

Unfortunately the big lake Michikamau is now the Smallwood impoundment, and it has changed totally. Sounds quite unpleasant for canoeing, judging from this trip report. But the George sounds fun!


Books, DVD's, Films and Magazines / Re: The Lure of the Labrador Wild
« on: February 25, 2019, 12:04:10 PM »
Yes a great story of one of the worst navigational errors in history!

I would also recommend Great Heart by James West Davidson and John Rugge, which tells the same story but includes the follow-up expeditions by Wallace and the competing expedition by Hubbard's wife. A race over the watershed and down the George! One of the best adventure stories ever.


Like Brian said. Use a stove with a baffle and don't worry about sparks.


Fire and Woodstoves / Re: DIY - Trekable Rocket-Type Tent Stove
« on: February 24, 2019, 09:54:32 AM »
Excellent. As yo say it is a somewhat larger and simplified version of a Chimpac stove. I would not call it a rocket stove as it lacks a riser. I like your baffle design as I was puzzling out something similar for a new build.


General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Ski Climbing Skins
« on: February 24, 2019, 09:49:03 AM »
I use moderate touring skis (Asnes Marka) with "skinny skins" for bush skiing here in Ontario. I cut regular skins in half lengthwise to make a pair about 13 mm wide. See

That said I also use large traditional snowshoes. It depends somewhat on the conditions and on my mood. Generally I prefer the physical motion of skiing but sometimes they are a bit of a hassle and I just want to strap on the old shoes. Also it is far easier to use shoes for tasks like making camp and gathering firewood.


Trip Reports / Re: 4 Days in the Algonquin Back-Country with my Son
« on: February 04, 2019, 07:28:03 PM »
I can't see them either.


There is practically nothing but crown land outside the city limits. The real issue is finding a place to park safely. One option is to take the "Budd Car" train, pick a spot and have them drop you off. That way you can park at the station in Sudbury. You can flag it down to be picked up. However don't expect it to be on time.


Ontario & Quebec / Re: off to a great start
« on: January 17, 2019, 08:50:24 AM »
Yes lots of snow here in North Bay. Was some slush on the lakes when I was out last week however.


Sleds and Toboggans / Re: Hmmm
« on: January 17, 2019, 08:48:52 AM »
I don't really understand how it steers. Unlike the SnowDog it doesn't have a handlebar, just the remote steering joystick. I thought it must have twin tracks but the website says not. So, how does it turn?

My guess is that the range/endurance will be rather low. Tracked vehicles require more power than wheeled vehicles in general and the power density of batteries is still much lower than a tank of fuel. Might be suitable for work around a farm or for a set distance but not for anything where long range is required.


Group Trip Planning / Re: Deep Freeze 2019
« on: January 11, 2019, 09:31:07 AM »
Looking forward to seeing you and the gang there, Joe.


Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: ski base ice damage
« on: January 06, 2019, 01:21:10 PM »
Maybe just shave off the fuzz and forget about it. My experience leads me to believe that minor scratches don't matter much, and may actually make the ski hold wax better.


Tents and Shelters / Re: reflectivity of tent materials
« on: December 30, 2018, 10:05:02 AM »
Gurrrr.   Wonder where manufacturers of grow boxes or ice houses get their reflective material.  Research to continue.

As a grower myself (legal in Canada), I use Reflectix material. However it is too bulky to use in a portable shelter. If you look online you will find a variety of reflective materials, some of which are even fire resistant.


Tents and Shelters / Re: reflectivity of tent materials
« on: December 29, 2018, 08:36:32 PM »
That is indeed the issue. White materials do reflect visible radiation which includes the wavelengths plants use, but not necessarily infrared which is most of what comes out of a fire. So, no, it won't work nearly as well as an IR reflective material.


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 37