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Catch-all Discussions » On the topic of being lost in the woods - references » 7/17/2019 12:28 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 7

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Hi folks, like many of you I was greatly concerned when I heard about the two lost girls in the Park.

I am experienced in the wilderness yet I can easily picture a scenario where I might become lost. As a result, I keep trying to learn about survival skills. For those who think like me, here are a couple of great reference materials I have come across in recent months:

Book
Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods - book (and audiobook) by Cary J. Griffith.
An immensely engrossing retelling of two true wilderness rescues (one Minnesota, one Ontario) from the point of view of those who were lost and also those who were searching for the missing.

YouTube video
Why Hikers Should ALWAYS Carry A Compass
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JA23PWuqe4- reallybigmonkey1
A very entertaining and educational video showing how to get un-lost by using a compass.

I'd appreciate it if anyone else has resources they could share in this thread.

Sincerely,

Tracy
 

Equipment » bivy bag insights » 4/23/2019 6:49 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 8

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Based upon the many glowing reviews online, I bought a new Military Modular Sleep System Goretex bivy a few years ago for under $100.
Here are my findings:
- As you might expect with something used by the military, this is a very rugged piece of gear. High quality zippers and overall solid construction.
- It's very heavy and bulky.
- A deal killer for most of the camping season in Ontario: no bug screen.
- No tie downs for the corners means when you roll, the bivy can roll with you.
- No tie off loop at the top of the bag means the bivy lies on your face.
- I'm 6' tall and weigh about 225 pounds. I can't use any sleeping pad thicker than a Thermarest Pro Lite Plus, or I'll be squished between the pad and the top of the bivy.
- I'm a side sleeper who splays my arms out in front of me when I sleep. The bag is too narrow for me to do this comfortably.
- You can't properly fit a 6.5 foot long, 25 inch wide sleeping pad properly in the bivy.
- It does make a nice addition to your sleep system in a tent that will add a few degrees of warmth when used outside of your sleeping bag.

Hope these observations help when it comes time to pick your bivy!
 

Catch-all Discussions » 2018 highlights » 12/31/2018 7:42 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 18

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It's really nice to read about everyone's experiences in the Park this year, thank you for sharing.

2018 was significant for me as for many years I have dreamed about operating a ham radio station from the shore of a wilderness lake. I finally made it happen this year when in August my friend and I took our daughters into the park and backpacked into Provoking Lake. Sitting on a rock just a few feet away from the water's edge, I was able to make many contacts from coast to coast in North America. As a bonus, I recorded the experience on video for my YouTube channel.
http://i68.tinypic.com/2rzxlcj.jpg

Being respectful, I only operated for about an hour and a half and kept the volume low so as not to disturb others on the lake. Of course, when the operation was over and we hiked out, we left no trace . Another one checked off my bucket list.

Happy New Year, folks!

Photos and Videos To Share » Couple Moose Pics at Night » 12/31/2018 7:09 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 2

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Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Steve.

Catch-all Discussions » Wha-ja-get? I got THIS! » 12/27/2018 7:08 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 3

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She did a fantastic job. You must be one proud Dad!

Trip Reports » Winter Wonderland » 12/13/2018 4:40 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 8

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Fantastic, thank you for sharing!

Trip Reports » Western Uplands northern loop - October 19-21 » 11/22/2018 7:02 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 8

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This information helps me quite a bit, thank you Rich. What capacity pack did you use?

Trip Reports » Western Uplands northern loop - October 19-21 » 11/21/2018 8:13 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 8

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Hi Rich, that was a really nice report. Thank you for sharing it!

I'm always looking to learn from those who know more, so I've got several questions for you if you don't mind:
- I see you pitched the tarp the first night not in an A frame but in a slope.  Did the slope afford any protection from rain, or just wind? Did you have a place to sit under the tarp? Did you bring a chair?
- You covered a lot of ground during the trip. Is the trail pretty flat up there? Personally, I'm not sure I could do much more than 8-10 kms in a day, which is what is keeping me from trying the full Highland Trail in 3 days. As you know, the Highland Trail has some challenging terrain.
- How much did your pack weigh?

OK, enough questions thank you again.

Tracy
 

Trip Reports » A beautiful overnight to Sproule Lake – w/ all campsite pics » 10/01/2018 7:01 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 3

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Thank you very much for sharing. Those photos are jaw-droppingly beautiful! You have talent, my friend.

Tracy

Campgrounds and Front-country » Campers avert tragedy at Mew Lake Campground » 10/01/2018 6:46 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 8

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I hope the title is not too dramatic but my brother and I were witness to a very scary incident at the Mew Lake Campground on Friday, September 21. That's the same night a tornado touched down near Ottawa.

The two of us were camped at site 105 having arrived that morning for a long weekend of hiking the day trails. After traversing the Track and Tower trail, we returned to our site and started processing wood for the fire. We both noticed the wind picking up significantly, so much so that we pulled down the MEC Guides tarp we had erected earlier in the day. The way the wind was whipping I was afraid the tarp might get damaged, similar to an incident I experienced at Provoking Lake last fall.

It was just before dusk when we finished our dinner. Sitting before the campfire we heard a loud crack and looked around in time to see a pine that I estimate was 80 feet in height topple from its base near the road and fall toward the site next to us. The tree fell down, dragging a smaller neighbouring tree with it. When the two trees landed with a crash, we called over to the site to see if the two campers there were all right. The reply came back that they were safe.

My brother and I rushed over to find the tree had flattened one of the two tents pitched on the site. The campers were standing on the far side of the campsite in a bit of shock. They quickly drew our attention to the fire pit. Not only had the tree hit the tent bang on, the top of the tree had fallen directly across the fire pit. The fire had been going strong and this dead tree was capable of catching fire at any moment. My brother and I rushed back to our site, he grabbed his hatchet, I grabbed my camp saw and we spent the next hour sawing and hacking to clear both the pit and afterward the tent so the camper could access his gear.

One of the campers called the park office, let them know there were no injuries and was told the wardens would come by as soon as possible. It actually took more than an hour fo

Equipment » I finally had a reason to try out MEC's "Rocksolid Guarantee" » 9/06/2018 5:57 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 3

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I too have seen the guarantee in action. Last October while camping on Provoking Lake a very strong wind tore my MEC Guides tarp. I took the tarp back, spoke with the store manager and he graciously replaced the tarp with a new one. Big fan of MEC over here!

Equipment » merry christmas everyone ! what did santa bring you? » 12/26/2017 12:54 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 12

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I helped "Santa" out a little this year when I saw SAIL was clearing out Les Stroud knives at a really low price. So I am the proud new owner of a Camillus Les Stroud SK Mountain knife. I had my daughter wrap it up for me and put it under the tree I also bought one for my brother, he'll get his today.
 

Equipment » 'Emergency blankets', reflective foil and plastic bags .. » 11/20/2017 1:05 pm

Blobsquatch
Replies: 16

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Hi Barry,

You did not mention which emergency blanket you have, but one piece of gear I've really been impressed with is the All Weather Emergency Blanket sold by MEC for $18:

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/0199-141/Emergency-Blanket

The blanket is reasonably light at 285 grams. I've used it under sleeping bags on cold nights to provide effective additional warmth and never noticed any dampness in the morning. It doesn't make much noise to my ears. It's also versatile: I've used it as a durable tarp in a downpour. One con is that it can be a bit bulky to pack, but if you use it as an inside liner for your pack that's not too much of an issue. Hey, it's cheap enough that even if it doesn't fit the bill you haven't lost too much.

Tracy

Catch-all Discussions » Squatch'in » 9/16/2017 10:34 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 18

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holycow wrote:

This may be the answer we've been looking for
Title:NC mom invents a spray she says will attract any Bigfoot within a mile and a half
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article173012526.html#storylink=cpyhttp://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article173012526.html

Thanks for this link! I need to order some prior to my next solo trip so that I don't have roast marshmallows all by myself.

Catch-all Discussions » Backcountry Pet Peeves » 9/15/2017 11:26 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 31

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There are some really good ones on this list!

Here's one that gets me...nails driven into trees to hang stuff. Completely unnecessary harm to the tree, just tie paracord around the tree trunk.

Trip Reports » my august vacation » 9/08/2017 2:08 am

Blobsquatch
Replies: 6

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Hi Solosal, I'd like to extend my sincere congratulations to you. Hiking all the Algonquin trails solo is a dream of mine. It's a real challenge so I have great respect for your achievement.

A friend has done the Lake Superior Provincial Park Coastal Trail that Rich referred to and RAVES about it. He'd like to get me up there but I can't spare the time commitment.

Additionally there is a trail at Frontenac Provincial Park you might try. And I've just learned of the Ottawa-Temiskaming Highland Trail.

Happy Trails!

Tracy

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