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Messages - kinguq

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Strange, I didn't take the message that black bears were not dangerous from this web site. It seemed to me they were saying that black bears were less dangerous, on a per encounter basis, than other species. I believe this to be true. But black bears are by far the most abundant species, and also tend to be common where people are common, so encounters are far more frequent. For example we commonly have black bears right in the city here in North Bay, and I have had one in my back yard beating up my composter. A bear was shot in the yard of the school my son attends a year ago- they had to "lock down" the school!

I have not had much experience with grizzlies, but lots with polar bears. There is no doubt in my mind that the polar bear is a far more dangerous animal. Luckily for them and us they are not so common in these parts...



Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Canadian Forces Arctic Mukluks
« on: March 08, 2009, 05:38:41 PM »
I used the white Forces "chimo's" for many years in Nunavut. They are great boots but for a dry cold.

For extreme cold conditions and passive activities like snowmobiling I had an oversized pair into which I put two pairs of hand-sewn duffel socks, in addition to the double duffels that come with the boots. These were totally bombproof and I could probably use them on Mars.

In fact that is quite a good strategy for a cold weather boot: buy a pair of cheaper boots oversized and make up some duffel socks to fit inside. Worked fine for me.


General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Hearing the Aurora
« on: March 06, 2009, 08:06:57 PM »
That's called synethesia and it is a common effect of some hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and psylosybin. Don't ask how I know that...


Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Ruff on a Sleeping Bag
« on: March 06, 2009, 09:42:33 AM »
A lot of Inuit make their parkas with a ring of fur around the end of the sleeve. It is mostly decorative but can also help mesh with an appropriate mitten.

I would also put little fur balls at the end of your drawstrings- they look great!

Just another idea to use up the lovely fur!


General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Hearing the Aurora
« on: March 06, 2009, 08:40:37 AM »
Well, after living in the Arctic for well over 20 years I can report that I have never heard aurora. I have seen the most brilliant, multicoloured, dancing, galactic northern lights you can possibly imagine, but they have never spoken to me, unfortunately.


Yes I have always had trouble with the concept that using a fossil fuel powered stove is somehow better for the environment than using renewable wood as fuel. In heavily used areas a portable firebox or twig stove can be used.

But I guess we are getting off topic here...


Caribou is good, but musk ox is the best sleeping skin I have ever used. Heavenly...


Geez, is the snow really all gone in the Kawarthas? I was thinking of heading down there over the school holiday...

Camped in lots of cold wet weather in Norway, and if you can maintain a drying fire it can be OK. But it is certainly the most difficult condition to camp in, in my view. Intense cold is much easier.

As Rick said the key is to stay dry, and to be able to get dry if you become wet.

Best of luck,


Algonquin is basically a tree farm, so why not harvest a few boughs? But seriously I see nothing wrong with a few people taking a few boughs in an area where no one will likely go in the summer in any case. They are a renewable resource, and the lower branches on conifers generally die eventually regardless.


Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Why white cotton for Anoraks?
« on: March 02, 2009, 12:20:32 PM »
White tents are a different matter. When I lived in Nunavut, virtually all Inuit used white tents. When I lived in Arctic Norway, virtually everyone used dark coloured (usually green) tents, in this case lavvu's.

The difference was striking. Inuit use white tents because canvas is typically white, but also because they like the brightness inside the tent the white colour gives in the 24 hr daylight of summer. With similar light conditions, Norwegians prefer dark tents so they can relax and sleep in the 24 hr light. Maybe this points to a difference in mentality between Inuit and Norwegians!

I prefer white tents as I like the light. However at the moment I am using a green lavvu because that is what I have. I find it very dark and even using a lantern at night does not make it light enough. I would much rather it were white but so it goes...



Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Hot Tent and Stove
« on: February 28, 2009, 07:28:56 PM »
For the pot holes I have the following suggestion. Pot lids make really good covers for your pot holes. Go to Rebuilt Resources and buy a couple of pot lids of the right size for 50 cents each or whatever. When I was there the other day they had all kinds. Then cut the holes to fit the lids (and your pots of course).

I will warn you that sheet metal is really nasty stuff to work with, in my experience. Be careful and wear gloves when you can. A jigsaw with the proper blade will work but it is sometimes hard to keep the stove from "oilcanning" and vibrating excessively, unless you can brace it properly. Someone told me that a Dremel tool works well for doing precise cuts but I have never tried it. Don't use tin snips as they just make a mess.


Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: Hot Tent and Stove
« on: February 28, 2009, 09:54:39 AM »
Hey Shawn

Where is Sproule Lake. I can't find it, or rather I have found a few!


Other Winter Camping Gear / Re: 5' Toboggan on Sale at Canadian Tire
« on: February 28, 2009, 09:42:12 AM »
Hey Shawn

What are the poles made of? I made a set from old ski poles for my pulk but broke them.

Seems we are both in North Bay, by the way.


Hi all:

Thanks for the interesting replies. I guess the consensus is that it is viable with a specialized lightweight tent and a fairly light stove.

I note that my lavvu and the stove I made are actually lighter than the Snowtrekker models, so I am in the right ballpark. I guess seeing the rather heavy gear used by most of the folks at DeepFreeze led me to think that that was the norm. That being said, it does seem that most of the people using hot tents are setting up base camps, or at least not travelling very much.

The heated tent is certainly welcome. I think I will stick with it and try to streamline my gear some more. My ambition is to make this viable for me to travel reasonable distances, which will take some more innovation.

Expecting a big snow storm here this evening, should be fun.


Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Possum fur ruff?
« on: February 25, 2009, 03:25:14 PM »
Suggest you patrol the second hand stores. I picked up a beautiful coyote scarf for 10 dollars that I am using for a fur ruff. Also picked up a mink coat for 15 dollars but I am not sure what to do with that!



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