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Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 6/19/2018 10:11 am

RobW
Replies: 31

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Summer students sign their contracts the day they start work. For most of the interior student rangers in Algonquin that will be July 2nd. The job offers have already been made and accepted, so hopefully there won't be any changes to the scheduled start dates, but given the wording of the announcement on the hiring freeze there is a chance the summer positions could be at risk. 

Equipment » Aquaquest has a website now » 6/13/2018 8:51 am

RobW
Replies: 10

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Looks like they have been around for a few years. I found reviews going back to 2014. The price and the size are appealing. I've never found small tarps to be very useful and most syl-nylon tarps seem to max out at a 'barely usable' size. The 13'X10' one that Aquaquest sells is more in line with what I would normally use. 

Equipment » Gloves for camping (not cold weather) » 5/30/2018 9:08 am

RobW
Replies: 12

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I keep a pair of lined work gloves in the food barrel. Originally these came along for spring trips. Given a good spray of canvas waterproofing they work really well in the spring with cold water, snow, slush, etc. That led to the realization that they also work really well when cooking on the fire and/or picking up hot pots and pans off the fire so now they get used all season. 

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/yardworks-lined-leather-palm-gloves-large-0599314p.html#srp

 

Skills » How to not bust an ankle? » 5/22/2018 3:38 pm

RobW
Replies: 23

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Salomon are way too narrow for me. I'm still happy with my Asolo boots. 

Skills » Bear bag » 5/15/2018 2:13 pm

RobW
Replies: 36

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The downside of the Ursack is it's limited size. It looks like the largest one is 15 L. That might be enough for food and cooking gear for a solo ultralight backpacking trip, but it isn't going to hold everything for a group of 4 or more people. Even the Ursack estimate is 7 days of food for 1 person using the Ursack Major XL which is the 15 L version and that is assuming all freeze dried food and counting "single serving" packaged freeze dried meals as sufficient for a "full serving" when typically double servings are required to meet minimum calorie requirements for an active adult. Food only for 4 people for 4 days would take at least 2 X 15L Ursack Major XL bags.

The focus still seems to be focused on storing food (which is important) as opposed to storing everything food related (which is the minimum required to be effective or useful). If you plan on using Ursacks for cooking gear too, then count on another 2 X 15L Ursack Major XL bags. 

Skills » Bear bag » 5/15/2018 9:40 am

RobW
Replies: 36

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NVM - is this the rule you were referring to?

"


  • Campsites must be kept clean and free of attractants for wildlife (e.g., bears, wolves, raccoons, etc.) at all times."


As you noted it does not mention hanging food as something that is specifically required. Rather it leaves it open as to how best to keep your campsite "clean and free of attractants for wildlife". In that context an Ursack or other really "bear proof" container would definitely qualify as responsible storage. 

I completely agree that regardless of the storage method, it is important to discourage the bear rather than to stand back and let them rummage around your site at will. This is as true today as it was in the 70's when the grizzlies used to routinely wander through the campgrounds out in Jasper. 

There are a couple of organizations that have done testing on 'bear proof" containers using real bears. One is Wild Safe BC: 
https://wildsafebc.com/bear-resistant-bin-testing/ and another is the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center near Yellowstone: https://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/research/product-testing/

Here is one video professional bears testing products: 




 

Skills » Bear bag » 5/14/2018 2:36 pm

RobW
Replies: 36

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Dead_Weight (DW) wrote:

I'm sure everyone knows but its worth repeating ... whether its a ursack or not if the rangers don't consider it properly hung you always run the risk of a getting a fine.  

D-W - Can you provide a reference for an Ontario Parks regulation stating that you have to hang food and relating cooking gear? I am not aware of one. I know there are routine recommendations to hang food, but I don't know of a specific regulation requiring it. 


For everyone's reference, here is the definitive video of why not to bother hanging a food bag and exactly how NOT to respond when a bear does try to get your food. 




For those folks who want to go ahead and hang their food bags anyway, then Barry has a good write up on how to use a pulley system - I just can't find the page right now. When hanging stuff, make sure to include all cooking gear, all toiletries and any clothes that might remotely have food scents on them.

This is a valid but recurring topic. Most Ontario Parks don't provide options for meaningfully storing food. Hanging just adds wear and tear on trees - as noted at the start of this thread by the absence of branches anywhere near established sites. (No, I don't have a peer reviewed academic paper to reference for this off the top of my head. For anyone who wants to go looking, I'd suggest starting by searching for Parks Canada funding justifications for installing bear cables in back country campsites in Banff and other western parks in the 80's)

National Parks out west provide bear cables strung between posts. Those work fairly well for grizzlies which don't generally climb. Lots of videos of black bears happily climbing and traversing ropes to get to hung bags so I doubt even a proper cable set up will have much value in Ontario with black bears. Even with the cables, to be effective you need to cook at least 100 yards from the tents and then hang at least another 100 yards from there. 

Pukaskwa

Catch-all Discussions » 2018 Ice Out Predictions? » 5/07/2018 3:47 pm

RobW
Replies: 426

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I don't know folks, I think we're going to have to pick up the pace if we want to hit 400 posts before the Opeongo is officially declared open water. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


As nice as that satellite picture looks, if you move straight down from Opeongo, it doesn't look like Rock & Pen are entirely open yet either. Usually they open up as much as a week before Opeongo, although I expect that this year they will open up a lot closer together. 
 

Where Is This? » WIT 266 » 5/04/2018 8:23 am

RobW
Replies: 22

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Looks like it's time to throw Kioshkokwi into the mix. 

Skills » backwoods safety rules - for kids » 5/02/2018 12:38 pm

RobW
Replies: 16

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PaPaddler wrote:

6. Always have a whistle clicked onto your belt loop to be able to signal for help

While this is a common recommendation, it isn't nearly as useful as folks would like to think. 1 small hill and 100 yards is enough to completely block out the sound of many whistles. If you do take whistles, stay away from the high pitched Fox whistles and look for something with a lower tone. 

One that I would add is to always let someone know where you are going - that includes a trip to the thunder box. 
 

Where Is This? » WIA 265 » 5/02/2018 8:21 am

RobW
Replies: 13

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Island site on Booth?

Catch-all Discussions » 2018 Ice Out Predictions? » 4/27/2018 9:08 pm

RobW
Replies: 426

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ShawnD wrote:

I'm surprised they haven't pushed back from the May 4th day yet. 

In past years those updates have happened on Mondays or maybe Tuesday if they are trying to do a survey flight and the weather is bad on Mondays. 

Catch-all Discussions » 2018 Ice Out Predictions? » 4/27/2018 12:46 pm

RobW
Replies: 426

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No rules against ice fishing when the trout season is open. 

Trip Planning » Algonquin/Killarney site recommendations » 4/26/2018 1:35 pm

RobW
Replies: 9

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I might suggest Little Doe over Burnt Island for the kind of group I think you have. Burnt Island is fairly easily reachable in a day, but it would be a full day and is a big lake when you get to it. Little Doe only requires the one portage and the paddle up through Joe, Teepee and the Little Oxtongue River would be more sheltered. Then on the way out, if folks were feeling more comfortable and energetic, you could come back through Baby Joe, Little Joe and Joe. 

The downside would be fewer west facing sites on  Little Doe. 

With either option - Little Doe or Burnt Island, take time to stop on Joe and take the short hike up to Gibraltar Rock. There is one picture from there on this page with more in the gallery for that trip report: http://www.loonislandoutdoors.com/TripReports/JoeLake/JoeLakeDay4.php
 

Equipment » Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge » 4/26/2018 1:28 pm

RobW
Replies: 33

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Now that's a good idea for the middle of black fly season:

Susie Bug Net: http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/susiebug.htm

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