I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows which follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright / Hawks Shadow

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


When a single person or two person tent just won't do, you will have to scale up to a larger shelter. Tents are usually sized by the amount of people they can hold.

The problem with this measurement is that gear is never taken into account. A two person tent will house two adults and their sleeping equipment. All other gear must be stowed outside. As you scale up, the same holds true. 

The size of tent you bring to any camp will be determined by the number of occupants wishing to share the tent. Once that is determined, comfort becomes a factor. If you wish to share your tent with one other person, a three person tent will give you wiggle room and a place to stow a couple of packs. The trade off is weight. The larger the tent, the more it weighs. A few pounds extra seems like no big deal until you get into your third portage of a long day and I promise you, you will wish your pack had wheels. 

Algonquin. R.G.Wright.

A tent becomes your home when you are camping.
It's imperative that you choose your shelter wisely. 
I have seen many broken poles, ripped tarps and a 
myriad of other problems due to people purchasing 
substandard tents. 

You can get away with this if you are car camping 
as the car can become a shelter if something should 
go wrong. 

Interior camping is another story, a ripped door or
broken poles will ruin your stay in the woods if no
repair can be made. 

Please see my previous post "A Tent Is A Tent, Right?" 
Part One, on other tent models, for the best fit. 

See my YouTube video explaining more below.

It is my hope that these videos will help you choose a 
tent that is right for your needs. 

Happy camping. 


Sunday, June 28, 2020

A Tent is a Tent - Right?

Long ago, I remember camping with the Scouts in massive canvas tents that housed at least eight people. How the scouters managed to get those  tents to site is beyond my memory, but I do know that setting them up was a task which took the concerted effort of the entire troop. Once erected, we stuffed all of our gear into them and claimed dirt space. I always picked the back of the tent for my bedroll. The reason for me choosing that area was simply because raids by other troops were the norm. When the interlopers came through the door,  I simply rolled out from under the sidewall and was free of the mayhem ensuing inside the canvas walls. This enabled my buddies and I to take on the would be raiders face to face.  

Animals would venture under the sidewalls and make incursions into our shelter, making off with all kinds of gear which they stowed away in the surrounding forest. 

I truly do wish those days never ended. But time moves past our canoes and slips away in the boats wake.  

Modern tents are perfect for camping, provided that you choose the tent which suits your needs. Mesh doors and walls preclude the tiniest of insects from entering the shelter. Advanced ventilation keeps the occupants dry and comfortable. A tripping tent is lightweight and compacts into a very small space saving precious room for other camping necessities within your pack. 

Choosing a tent can be a confusing task. It is my hope that this video helps you navigate the confusion and pick a tent that will suit your needs for many years to come. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Portaging can suck, but it gets you to where you are going.

To some, a canoe trip without portaging is simply not a trip at all. Tripping by its very nature requires the tripper to move many kilometres into the interior of any given nature reserve or wilderness area. This requires the tripper to carry everything they have across land, on designated or non-designated trails known as portage routes. 

Portage trails usually follow the shortest route to the next lake. The problem is - not all portage trails are equal; some trails will test the endurance of seasoned veterans. 

It is important to plan your trip according to your capabilities. If you are new to canoe tripping, stay on well traveled portage trails. These routes will be well maintained and if you find yourself in trouble, a fellow tripper will come along in a short time to help you sort your trouble out. 

Portaging is a workout. It will force you to use muscles you may not have known even existed. Heat, bugs, rain and a myriad of other environmental factors could cause your mind to slip a gear and force you into a state of self reprisal. You may even wonder what the heck you were thinking when you sat down at your desk and planned the route you now find yourself on. 

Yep, a picture is worth a thousand words. This photo was taken on day six of a planned ten day trip. Total trip length was 140 km. The yellow signs informing us of another portage ahead became beacons of foreboding. Unless you have crossed the same portage prior - you have no idea what lies within the twisting confines of the forest trail which you are about to traverse. Once crossed, the mystery of that trail is now exposed and you have learned much. 

The trials of the trail are soon left behind as you set up camp and settle into the wilderness. The soft subtle sounds of the forest serenade you as the fire sends tendrils of smoke into the air and fills your camp with its intoxicating smell.

The primitive person in you escapes from the confines of civilization and your mind relaxes to the point where it is free to roam where it chooses. The only way to get here from there - is across the portage trail. 

Happy camping!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

How to handle flying vampires.

Living outdoors is a perfect way to reconnect to the world around you. Every sense in your body is awakened as you immerse yourself in the subtle lessons the forest and trail offer your questing mind. 

Weather becomes a reality which can't be ignored by closing a door and reclining in a climate controlled environment. You are forced to deal with rain and temperature variations which in turn teach you lessons about your own resilience. 

Biting insects are a fact of the trail. They are an essential part of the ecosystem through which you paddle your canoe and portage your gear. As you set camp, they can swarm you in numbers too vast to count and can cause major physical discomfort, which in turn, can taint your love of the outdoors. 

There are ways to mitigate the havoc these pesky little creatures create. Setting your camp up in an area where wind can infiltrate is one such method. 

Some people are not too adversely affected by insects, others are a meal ticket and draw the little devils in like magnets. One thing is for certain, you must have a game plan in place in order to withstand the clouds of winged vampires; if you want to keep your sanity while traversing the trails. The only time when you will be bug free is when the temperature drops to single digits.

This video shows some methods which have served me very well over my many years in the forest. 

Every time I wander into the bush, I always remind myself that I too am part of the system. A few donations to the flying blood bank is well worth it. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How to load your canoe.

A canoe is a light-weight boat capable of carrying loads ten times or more than the weight of the craft itself. 

Stability is the key. If you load your canoe improperly; the boat will not track well and you are putting yourself at risk of tipping. 

A properly loaded canoe will sit evenly in the water and will be easier to control in winds and waves. Always take into account the weight differential of the bow and stern paddlers.  

Less is always best when canoeing. Think carefully about the gear you wish to bring with you. Make sure that it is absolutely necessary. You will understand this statement when you have completed a long portage. 

© R.G. Wright

Have a great trip. 


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Winter fades away to spring.

Winter is fading as the sun returns to warm the land. The forest streams are trundling their way to nearby lakes and ponds. 

The wild ones that persevered through the cold months shake off the chill and meander around the woods loving the warmth. Migrating birds are returning and filling the silent woods with their songs. Frogs and turtles rise from their deep sleep and move to the surface of the ponds to say hello to a world they have not seen for several months. 

Spring peepers; small frogs with huge voices, call out into the night creating a chorus of sound which fills the hollows of the forest with deafening power. 

Soon the black-flies will come out from under the leaf litter and fill the air with their clouds of annoyance. Knowing that they in turn will feed the fish, makes their arrival easier to accept.  It is simply part of the cycle which makes the forest healthy and whole. 

Into this awakening world I move, as quietly as possible and without purpose. I want to soak in all the sights and sounds of the spring for I know, without question, spring will turn to summer and new sounds and sights will fill my mind and spring will fade into memory.    

Once again my paddle can dig into the cool water and my canoe can glide silently into the wilderness carrying me into the world which I call home. 


Monday, April 27, 2020

How to set up the king of all tents. The Tipi.

The tipi is one of the best portable lodges ever conceived. The design allows for a fire to be set within the shelter without the fear of asphyxiation from smoke inhalation. The smoke flaps are totally adjustable allowing for wind to flow across the extended wings, this in turn creates a suction effect which draws air in from the base of the lodge. Smoke from the fire is literally pulled out of the interior keeping the occupants comfortable and safe. 

An experienced person can have the lodge set up and a fire going within twenty minutes. The conical design sheds snow and rain exceedingly well - all the while keeping the interior dry even with the smoke flaps open. 

I have had this cover for well over twenty years and it is still serviceable. It has withstood high winds, deep snow and torrential rains and it still keeps me dry and warm. My sled dogs and I spent many hours within the warm comfort of this lodge and their spirits still mingle with the smoke from the fire. 

Much of my book, "A Long Paddle Home" was written within the lodge while the wilderness played it's symphony and firelight danced on the canvas walls.

When your mind struggles for clarity and your body is filled with anxiety, settle into the comfort of a tent and you will find much needed solace. If that tent happens to be a tipi, you will discover that no amount of effort is required for you to relax, the lodge does the work for you.  


The poles connect the earth to the sky, and the fire completes the circle. Energy is channeled straight into the lodge and your ancient soul will respond.


Please refer to my YouTube video on how to remove the cover.   Taking Tipi Cover Down

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