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Messages - kinguq

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Trip Reports / Re: Tracking Lake Sturgeon on Ice in Quetico!
« on: February 13, 2010, 09:41:08 pm »
Wow, what a fabulous report!

I once did a similar project tracking searun Arctic charr. We tagged them on the run up the Koukjuaq River into Nettilling Lake on Baffin Island. We then flew the area after freezeup to find the general area where they were overwintering. Then we went in by snowmobile and found their exact locations. It was successful and loads of fun. These tags worked very well through 2 m of ice and at least 20 m of water, probably because the water there has such low conductivity.

Neat that you did it on skis without mechanical support.


Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Repairing Coleman Lantern
« on: February 13, 2010, 10:55:58 am »
OK, thanks. I think it is wrecked, because the thin pricker wire is all bent and curled. Nothing for it but to get a new generator I guess.

Thanks for the help people.



Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Repairing Coleman Lantern
« on: February 12, 2010, 09:28:05 pm »
Scoutergriz, when I take the tip of the generator off, that wire you mention is not straight, it is bent into a spiral, like a spring. Is it supposed to be like that?

Thanks for the tip, Ted. I will know for next time.



Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Repairing Coleman Lantern
« on: February 12, 2010, 06:52:33 pm »

Thanks for the help. I tried the company Rick gave and was informed it could not be delivered before mid next week, which is a bit late for me. So I guess I will manage with extra batteries and candles for this trip.

One interesting find at the local Home Hardware was a River Trail pressurized kerosene lantern, roughly similar in size to my Peak 1. I have never seen a pressurized kerosene lantern before. It looked much like a white gas lantern, with a pump and a mantle. I was tempted but I wanted to find out more about them. Unfortunately I haven't found anything yet. Anyone run across one of these?


Other Winter Camping Gear / Repairing Coleman Lantern
« on: February 12, 2010, 09:36:02 am »

So I go to try out my Coleman Peak 1 222b lantern yesterday in preparation for DeepFreeze next week and the thing won't work! It was fine last time I used it.

It develops pressure but no gas come out the nozzle at the end of the generator, so I assume it is plugged. I took it apart but I can't even see the hole at the end of the nozzle let alone clear it. Of course I should get a new generator, if they are available, but they don't make these anymore so they might be hard to find. Also I have little time...

Any ideas on fixing this? I tried soaking it in alcohol for a while but that did nothing.

Otherwise I either get a new lantern or sit in the dark I guess. But i don't really like the new Colemans so I might try something else I guess. I have looked at all the previous threads about tent lighting here so there are lots of ideas. However I do like this lantern, it is small, lightweight and gives off a lot of light.

Any help appreciated...


Other Homemade Gear / Re: What about a tipi?
« on: February 06, 2010, 07:31:23 pm »
I set up my lavvo in the back yard today just to work the bugs out of some modifications to my stove system.

You can see the chimney peaking out through the top.

It is basically the same stove I used last year, except that I lengthened it a bit. It is made from a 7" chimney T-joint. As you may recall, last year I was hanging the stove with chain from the centre pole . This worked well enough, but I have to admit it made me a bit nervous for some reason. Just one weak link (literally) and the whole thing comes crashing down. It never did, but this year I decided to put legs on it. The legs are scavenged from an old folding chair, and are aluminum except for the top few cm which attach to the stove. I like my stove up fairly high so it is easy to work with. This seems very stable so I will sleep better.

The chimney goes up through the smoke hat. It is double-walled here and the walls are kept separated by spacers so the chimney stays cool here and does not burn the fabric.

This stove is fairly small but it throws more than enough heat for this tent. Here there is a kettle sitting in the cook hole, which fortuitously fits perfectly.

Another view. Seems to work well enough and is very stable. So I am ready to go to DeepFreeze in just over a week.


Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Winter ultralight
« on: February 01, 2010, 04:31:16 pm »

Besides UL and tent/woodstove approaches there is an third alternative: heating your tent with a multifuel stove(s).

Above the treeline (up high or up north) this is in fact the only choice. Inuit heat their tents or igluit with stoves these days, almost always the venerable Coleman 2 burner. It is really surprising how effective this is. It is no problem to get an iglu up to room temperature with a Coleman.

When I was living on Baffin I made an inner tent for an 8 x 10 wall tent that consisted of a layer of thinsulate and a layer of coated nylon on the inside. There was positive ventilation near the floor and at the ridgeline. This was an incredibly warm and comfortable setup. Bulky an hardly ultralight, but that is hardly an issue with a snowmobile and qamutiq.

One does have to take care with ventilation, but it is certainly not as dangerous as some make it out to be, or else there would be few surviving Inuit.


The bush is so thick around here that these would be unuseable. My 190's are bad enough. I may try making a short, very wide ski just to see how it works.


Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Down--Did the Natives Use It?
« on: January 19, 2010, 06:33:41 pm »
The Inuit on the Belcher Islands did not have ready access to caribou for much of the time and they made clothing out of eider duck skins. However I don't know if they used loose down.

The Vikings, or middle age Scandinavians, kept eiders as semi-domesticated animals, building houses for them and collecting their shed down and feathers. These were used in pillows and quilts, and the down was apparently a very valuable trade item.

I think using materials like down and cattail fluff is difficult unless you can effectively contain it, which requires tightly woven materials that native Americans did not have access to.


General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Making my sled slide
« on: January 18, 2010, 04:46:48 pm »
Another option might be to pick up an old pair of XC or downhill skis at a used stuff store and fasten them to the bottom. I did this on a pulk I made and it seems to work well enough. You can pick up old skis for almost nothing around here.


Other Homemade Gear / Re: very small wood stove built for $0
« on: January 15, 2010, 12:08:19 pm »
That is very cool. I make folding fireboxes out of these cans- they last a couple of years. Sometimes the solder joints give out so watch for that.


Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
« on: January 15, 2010, 09:02:21 am »
OK, this is going to sound like a travesty, but here it goes...

I did my graduate work on marine biology at Resolute Bay in what is now Nunavut. We would be out on the ice there in mid-winter, travelling all day by snowmobile, drilling holes in the ice (which tends to give you wet feet if you are not careful), taking samples, shovelling, setting up camps and all kinds of other tasks.

Needless to say it was cold, in the minus 30's much of the time.

We had limited funding, and my supervisor, an old Arctic hand, had particular ideas about boots that he had adapted from the locals. We were told to buy cheap snow-pac boots, the kind with rubber bottoms and leather tops that you could pick up from Can Tire for 20 bucks, about 4 sizes too big for our feet. We were then given some patterns, some wool duffel material and some thread, and told to get to work. Typically we would make 2 pairs of duffel socks, one with a high top, and one just a low slipper that fit over the inner one. We would wear heavy wool socks inside these.

So, the boot system would be the outer boot, the felt liner that came with the boot, two duffel socks, plus a couple of pairs of inner socks. The total cost would be less than $50 all up, not including of course the labour of making the duffels. But that was fun to learn although nowadays I make them using a sewing machine.

I can honestly say that in 3 years of work on the sea ice I never once had seriously cold feet.

I later moved to Iqaluit where I lived for 12 years. There I used the Forces Chimo type boots with the double wool duffel liner. But again I got them a couple of sizes too big so I could put at least one pair of duffel socks inside. I am very afraid of cold feet, you see.

What I am trying to get at here is that it is possible to adapt quite inexpensive equipment to other uses, with a little ingenuity. I was inspired by the previous post to point this out, seeing a $500 pair of boots (half price!). It is possible to do things much more economically if you are willing to put in some time to modify, make and adapt. You don't see native hunters wearing $500 boots! I could say the same about mittens, parkas, anoraks and lots of other items but I'll save that for another time.

Stay warm,


It is very easy to make these liners out of wool duffel or fleece if you have access to a sewing machine- takes all of half an hour to make a pair. I use the patterns here

But I guess that doesn't do you a lot of good.

When I was up north I used to hand sew duffel socks and have a number of patterns for that too. They have the advantage of being butt-seamed so there is no bulky seam. But I hate hand sewing...

The Norwegian harja listed are outrageously expensive but that is the norm for Norway.

You might look around in specialty shops for a suitable pair of slippers. You could easily sew on a higher top if desired.



General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Greetings from snowy UK!
« on: January 13, 2010, 09:15:14 am »

You might want to look around at used clothing stores which sometimes have heavy woolen dress pants. I sometimes buy these and modify them appropriately for skiing. Very stylish too!

Above the treeline at Bardufoss (and the treeline is very low at this latitude, probably less than 1000 ft) you definitely need good shell clothing. Lots of Norwegian skiiers use goretex but I don't like it in cold weather because of condensation. Cotton or polycotton is better. But then you do need an extra waterproof layer in case of rain!

This is tough country with very unstable weather conditions. But beautiful. Enjoy.


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