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Messages - kinguq

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Trip Reports / Re: Lost camera solo, March 2019
« on: May 08, 2019, 08:31:30 am »
Yes, it is an Alpine Meadows 4-person, 33 years old now. I converted it to winter use a few years back by cutting out the floor and adding chimney ports through the tent and fly. For winter use it is the right size for 1 or at most 2 people. In practice I have used it only for solo trips. Really a great tent that has seen a lot of use.

I had a couple of falls on this trip, and there were moments when I wondered if I would be able to get up! Because of the crust about 30 cm down, I stayed up most of the time, but a few times it broke and it was like falling through the ice on a lake! So much snow...


Trip Reports / Lost camera solo, March 2019
« on: May 07, 2019, 04:50:02 pm »
Went on a 3 night solo trip back in early March. I waited until now to post, but I have a good reason for that. While skiing with my pulk back to the pickup point, I fell going down a hill. The snow was so deep that it was very difficult to get up, and I ended up swimming in powder for a while. When I got back to the car, I realized that I had lost my camera from my jacket pocket. I knew exactly where that had happened, but it was too late to go back at that point. I did go back a couple of days later, but by that time it had snowed and I couldn’t find it. Finally, this past weekend, most of the snow had melted and I hiked back in. Found the camera!. After two months in the snowpack, it still works and now I have the photos.

The trip went into a nearby “non-operating” provincial park, which means the park has no office, facilities and in this case, hardly anyone goes there. The area is on a plateau which meant a rather hard drag up. Once up however it is very nice with lots of creeks, swamps and small lakes.

Lots of snow this year. I skied in using skinny skins on my skis, and also brought snowshoes. Although there was lots of snow, there was a crust not too far down so the going was not too hard. Made it to my planned campsite in time to stamp out a tent platform, then eat lunch and get some wood while it firmed up.

This trip I tried a slight variation on my setup. I dug out the front leaving a sleeping and sitting platform at the back, and suspended the Chimpac stove on a pole across the footwell. This worked so well and was warmer and much more comfortable than my typical flat platform setup. It was so nice to sit on the edge of the platform with the stove so close and conveniently placed. Easy to do in a tent this small.

The weather was OK, sunny but rather cold and windy. After setting up I spent my days on day trips around the park, seeing no one, not even any other human tracks. It is a beautiful area, mostly deciduous forest so quite open and easy to travel.

All in all it was a great, relaxing trip. Had fun just sitting in the tent, stoking the stove, maybe having a little vape. Looking forward to getting out again when the snow flies.

Well, it's fine to be critical of Facebook groups, but that doesn't do us any good here. The lower the activity on this site, the less incentive there is to post here, at least for me and I suspect for others. I see that as a problem. It becomes a downward spiral that I have seen on other groups.

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.


Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Four season stove and shelter
« on: May 04, 2019, 02:48:09 pm »
New ones are so much simpler. When I figure out how to post photos from my new I phone I will.

Well, since you don't seem that interested in marketing the stoves, why not just write an instructional booklet on how to make your stoves and shelters? You could offer it for download on many sites, including this one.

Another thing you could do, if you're interested, is make your own web site that provides instructions for your ideas. It is not as difficult as you might expect.

There are also craft sale sites like Etsy that might serve your purpose.

Just trying to be helpful. I really love the stove I have that you made: it is just perfect for solo winter camping. If you have a simpler design that I could make, I would certainly give it a try, especially since I already have the chimney.


Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Four season stove and shelter
« on: May 03, 2019, 07:22:35 pm »
made some changes.
The only thing I would ship that stores will not have is 2" tapered chimney.
 I can ship tin cans but the stoves and connectors can all be made with hand tools.
I have to come up with local people to do the cutting or send detailed instructions.

It may be true that they can be made with hand tools, but there is no way I could make one of your stoves, or at least the one I have. The parts are quite intricate and made with close tolerances, and would be way beyond my skill level. If you want you could offer complete stove systems for sale here on this site. I would probably buy one.


Fire and Woodstoves / Re: Four season stove and shelter
« on: May 03, 2019, 03:35:30 pm »
A couple of things:

1. Change American Indians to Native Americans.
2. Change "White man" to "European settlers".
3. Not sure what you are trying to do with the numbered list. It appears to be offering advice, but shouldn't you be describing the product or service you are offering? e.g. inflatable pads leak, but you are not offering pads, are you? Why not just give a brief description of what exactly you are offering?
4. Finally why not set yourself up as a retailer on this site, as others have done?


"Your PhotoBucket mention has me wondering. I had 1200 photos there and  couldn't get at them for a long time when  they were charging $ [ransom if you ask me] but they changed their policy and I no longer have that problem. Are you sure you still do?"

Hmm, good point. I had installed an app called "Photobucket Hotlink Fix" that allowed ME to see the posted photos but not anyone else unless they also had the app. However I just uninstalled the app and I can still see the photos, so I guess you are correct. So I withdraw my point about Photobucket.  Thanks for the correction.

Still, it is worth pondering why there has been such a decline in traffic on the site this year. If it is not the inconvenience of photo posting (it is still inconvenient), what is it? Winter trekking seems more popular than ever judging by the traffic on other sites I see.


Good to know that Hoop is OK. However it is undeniably the case that this forum has seen a dramatic fall in postings this year. I think there are a few reasons for this. There are now some winter camping groups on FaceBook, and many of us use them. So that is competition in a sense.

But for me the biggest issue continues to be the hassle of posting photos on this forum. I lost hundreds of posted photos in the PhotoBucket fiasco, and that has really put me off posting photos here. Who is to say that other photo hosting sites will not take the same route?

It seems a shame. I prefer the posting style that sites like this promote: longer, more thoughtful posts and trip reports, rather than the very short and photo-heavy postings on FB. And of course there is so much valuable information on the site. But I am afraid this site will die unless a simple and reliable photo posting option is found. And yes, I realize that the site doesn't generate advertising revenue, and that limits what can be done, so I am not criticizing the administrators for this. Just pointing out the obvious.


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.


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