Saturday 3 October 2020

Canoe Tripping During Covid 19

It has been an odd season this year with it starting out in the early spring with everyone wondering when the restrictions would be lifted so that we could go camping at all. And slowly the restrictions did lift first with back country camping being allowed, and then with general camping for everyone. I remember listening to the radio the day that back country camping was allowed, and the announcer was rhyming off all the restrictions that were being lifted that day and when he got to this one he said "back country camping, whatever that is". I actually called in and got through, and gave him a brief explanation that back-country usually involved hiking or canoeing all of your gear into secluded spot where nothing was provided to you other than a rudamentary thunderbox - which for the uninitiated is basically an outhouse without a roof or walls.

Friday 2 October 2020

Cut Resistant Gloves

I just wrote my first draft for a quick little intro to cut resistant gloves.

Check it out here

Tuesday 13 August 2019

I fell in love with Frontenac Provincial Park a few years ago when we did a couple of weekend hikes there with the Scouts, and ever since I've been aching to find some data to use as a good starting point for a map. Then yesterday I thought to send an email to the Friends of Frontenac, who were very quickly able to provide me with an almost complete set of GPS route data! Amazing! It still required a few hours of my time to clean it up, remove duplicate routes, split the tracks between intersections and add distances for the new routes. The end result is pretty impressive if I do say so myself. There is still work required - route tweaking and so forth - but this is an extremely good start. Oh and also have to add paddling distances which will be relatively easy to do.
  • Frontenac Provincial Park
  • Sunday 21 July 2019

    Algonquin Park - Stratton Lake

    Finally getting around to integrating last year's family canoe trip into the maps section of the site. Hope you find this small piece of Algonquin Park useful.
  • Algonquin Park - Stratton Lake
  • Sunday 21 October 2018

    Unboxing an assortment of Mora Knives

    I've never heard of Morakniv until a few weeks ago, and since then have done a fair bit of googling and watched more than a few Youtube videos on them - they seem to be almost universally well-liked and highly-praised, and even the low-end knives starting at under 15 Canuck Bucks appear to be as well made as some of the more expensive ones.

    Many of their cheapest knives all look identical to four of the ones in this video, and the only variation on the theme is blade width, breadth, and length.  Another neat thing about these knives is that just about every design gives you the choice between stainless and carbon steel.  I chose the latter, and they came plated so I'm sure that plating will wear off before long - but that's OK since I know how to care for a carbon steel blade (basically keep it dry and clean).  Another variable is that for an extra couple of dollars you can buy one of the models with the rubberized compound on the handle - the extra grip you get with these is definitely worth the few extra bucks you pay for them.

    The knives are razor sharp out of the package and their handles are close enough to symmetrical that you could use the knives in a "backwards" manner drawing toward yourself if you absolutely had to.  I'm still getting used to this new style of plastic sheath but I think I will before too long.  The funny bump you see on the front of four of the sheaths is a special clip that clips into a groove in the back of the same type of sheath so you string your knives together.  I'm still trying to think of a real practical use for that, but I'm sure there must be one out there.  It is a cool feature.

    Wednesday 26 September 2018

    Gear Review : Big Al vs Fjällräven Short Pants

    I've had both of these shorts for about 2 years now and finally got around to doing a comparative review of them.  Click here to see it including a video review.

    Friday 14 September 2018

    Autism in the Outdoors

    The Scouting year is about to begin again, and this year after 5 years in Scouts (ages 11 to 14) I'm going back to Cubs (ages 8 to 10).  My second oldest is continuing on to Venturers (ages 14 to 18) but said he only wants to continue on if I'm not there.  Which is totally cool by me - in fact pretty awesome honestly.  At the beginning of every Scouting year I always have a meeting with the parents during which I tell them amongst many other things : "the most precious thing I can give to your child is something I cannot give to my own - independence".  As Scout leaders we try to mitigate against this with various techniques - like when climbing mountains in the Adirondacks we try to ensure we are not in the same hiking group as our own kids.  Or for example in the spring on our first canoe trip this past year we were spread across 3 different camp sites on the lake, one of which was a bit further away - and my son was staying on it with two of the outer Scout leaders while I stayed on the other two sites.

    Anyway, my next son is moving up from Beavers to Cubs this year, and I'm joining him.  In fact I'm moving into the Akela role - the head Cub leader - even though the program has changed completely in the 5 years since I was Akela last time and I'm walking into something completely new.   This is the new "Canadian Path" in Scouts Canada, for anyone familiar with it.  As much as I am a bit disappointed that I won't get to do some of the more exciting things that I really enjoy like Winter Camp in the backwoods, Canoe Trips, Hiking trips and so on, I am really excited about giving my next son the same sort of experience I helped give the older two when we went through the program together.  And I'm hoping we get to spend the next 6-7 years together just like I did with the older two.

    But that's not what I'm here to write about.