I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows that 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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Hornet Nest on the Portage Trail


 Portage trails are as much a part of a canoe trip as a paddle.  Some trails are easy to navigate as you trundle along with your supplies, other trails; however, are brutal on the body and mind.

Boulder and root strewn with steep inclines and declines, these trails will test the most experienced trippers.

A misstep on a portage trail could potentially end your trip or worse, leave you wondering how you are ever going to get out of the bush. 

There are other hidden dangers though, like the camouflaged wasp nest shown in this video. These nests are made from the pulp of dead trees. Wasps and hornets masticate the pulp into paper which blends perfectly in with the forest. 

The nest shown in this video was built at the exact height of a canoe bow if it were being portaged, that means you could bump into it and find yourself running for your life from hornets which have awesome eyesight and can fly at well over 30 kilometers per hour - you will never outrun them. 

The secret to having a great trip is to be aware of everything around you. After all, that is why we do what we do. 

Please don't destroy these nests when you find them, take some photos and keep on walking, the paper makers will not bother you. 
They live there, we are only visiting. 

Simply living - Out here. 

 


 
 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Tipi Living - The Old Cook Stove


 In the 1800's, people moved into the Algonquin region hoping to find employment at lumber camps. These homesteaders cleared land and attempted to grow crops in the shallow soil. Their homesteads were built on stone foundations; the beams and wood of the home were cut from the surrounding forest. 
Heating the home was done with wood and their cookstove was the heart of the kitchen. 

There is an old foundation which fascinates me on a quiet piece of land close to where I live. I look at the flat rock, piled, row upon row, to form walls and I wonder at the perseverance of the people who built it. This foundation formed the basement of what was once a homestead. 

A water well, hand dug and lined with round boulders, sits just to the west of what was once the front door of the home. The ground is still, to this day, cupped from the passage of humans who once dragged cool water from the well and carried it in a bucket to the kitchen.  

I was digging around in the detritus in the basement and discovered the old cookstove. It had fallen through the now non-existent floor of the home and lay buried by leaves and dirt. I decided to make use of the old relic and dragged it home.

The stove was in bad shape; however, I was able to convert it to a serviceable firebox for my tipi. 



I had no idea that this old stove, which had serviced a family long ago, would prove itself to be still useful one hundred years later. 

As I sit on my bunk and watch the flames within the old stove, I wonder who the person was that used it to cook their family's meal. I wonder if they are watching me as I use the stove to simply live, out here. 



 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Campsite Setup - The Fire Pit.


 Every campsite requires a fire pit.

Not only is this essential for cooking and heat, it also keeps the fire contained and safe. 

The site in this video was neglected and required some elbow grease to get it back to a functional campsite. 

This site now has a fire pit which will last many years and it will serve as a base camp for this lifelong camper. 

Have fun Out Here. 


Setting up Camp - A Tarp, A Hammock and a Good Meal


 What is the key to setting up a good camp? There are many factors to be considered when setting up camp. Number one; Be sure to set the site up to provide efficiency of movement when the wilderness turns the lights off.

You would not believe how dark it can get when the sun drops below the tree line and disappears beyond the horizon. 

Guy lines and tent pegs seem to reach out and grab you as you fumble and stumble your way to the privy box or to check on your canoe. I can't tell you how many times I have tripped on a tent line I simply didn't see.  

The second ingredient required for a comfortable camp is a bug mesh shelter. This will allow for the enjoyment of eating a well deserved meal without the need to expend energy swatting at the mosquitoes and other biting insects which have found you to be delectable. The shelter in this video is perfect; easy to set up and packable enough to fit into a tripping bag without adding too much weight. 

Cooking on an open fire is the hallmark of camping. Eating the meal while listening to the natural sounds around you imbues the food with a seasoning not found anywhere else but out here. After setting up camp, cook up a classic breakfast meal and sit back and enjoy the company the forest. 

Happy Camping. 

 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Canoe Day Trip - Perfect way to relieve stress


 To a canoeist, the sound of the paddle as it propels the boat across an expanse of water is enough to elicit a feeling of accomplishment and freedom. 

When time does not permit a long canoe trip, a simple unplanned day excursion helps to quell the incessant craving that all experienced canoeists feel. 

Any day that you feel the water flowing under the thin skin of your canoe, is a good day. 

Happy Paddling    




 


Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Simple Bench for any Camp.


 I can't help feeling that the world, society, is in a free fall. Everyone is trying to escape to something other than their present situation. In my opinion, the pandemic has increased peoples anxiety to the point where narcissism has reared it's ugly head. 

I have found that using your hands during times of frustration and anxiety can work magic on your overtaxed nervous system. The simple act of creating something, fulfills an ancient need buried deep within our beings. 

My tipi required a simple table which I can use for many camp projects and simple tipi living. 

For the table top, I used a piece of balsam fir which was ravaged by Pine Sawyer bugs (I show one of the larva in this video) and some sticks which were left behind after a beaver had a meal.

Sisal twine bound the lot together and provided me with a sturdy bench which will serve my needs and when rot begins to call the wood to the earth, I will simply use it for firewood.  

In the process of building this bench, I left my anxieties. I soaked in the sounds of the woods and disappeared into the mists of the wilderness where my mind could wander; free of the bindings which society had placed on it. 

If you feel anxious - just get busy. 
That way, you will be
simply living, Out here. 
  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Opeongo - A lake of wind and waves


 Opeongo Lake, situated in Algonquin Park, Ontario, is a sprawling expanse of water with arms pointed north, east and south. She has a tendency to test paddlers regularly by inviting brother wind to blow across her waters. 

The skilled canoeist can average four to six kilometers per hour by trimming their boat and digging in steadily with their paddles. The rhythm developed over years of paddling comes instinctively and adjusts as conditions change. 

When faced with a two to four knot head wind, there is nothing to do but stay on shore or move forward; digging your paddle deep to gain a few inches of travel across a lake which is determined to place you back at your starting position. 

This is no time to pretend, this is now time to step up or step out. Mom (nature) doesn't care if you sink or swim, she only cares about the continuation of a cycle of life started long ago; before humans ever existed. Now is the time to humble yourself and work with her rather than fight her. 

This video was taken when I decided to go for a paddle after dropping my book off to Algonquin Outfitters. I wanted to check out the campsites for potential future adventures. 

The lake taught me what the winter had made me forget. My arms and body remembered the rhythm of the paddle and the wind freed my soul from the chains of society which had ensnared it. 

My canoe responded as she was built to do and my paddle dug deep into the waters of Opeongo Lake. 


Thursday, July 1, 2021

A Blustery day - Opeongo Lake


 After dropping my novel off at Algonquin Outfitters, Opeongo Lake, I decided to put my canoe in the water and go for a paddle. 

Opeongo lake can be brutal to paddle due to the ever present wind. It always seems to start with a gentle breeze which stirs the rivulets into small waves. Then brother wind decides to show off and the next thing you know, your facing waves which toss your small boat around like a bobber.

Inexperienced paddlers would do well to pull their canoes up on the shore and wait out the wind.

Experienced paddlers load their boats heavy to the bow and drive their paddles deep into the frothy surf; keeping a wary eye out for cross waves which seem determined to swamp the humble boat known as a canoe. 

This day was to put my skills to the test. As I paddled downwind, I was fully aware of my return journey which would be directly against a steady wind which seemed determined to keep me from my destination.

This video is about the short lunch break I took prior to facing - Brother Wind.  

Happy Paddling

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Lunch Time In the Wild


 Wildlife in wilderness areas are very aware of their surroundings. Any disturbance within their sensory range will evoke an instant reaction. 


The secret to remaining neutral, is to lower your energy signature by controlling your emotional state. Your excitement will trigger a flight response in all the wild ones. Unless of course your photographing a chipmunk; Those little creatures know they are cute and use it to their advantage. 

I always try to carry a camera with me when I am out and about. This is simply to ensure I have the ability to capture the moments when one of the wild ones decides to make an appearance. 

This video displays some of those random moments when I have been wandering and a denizen of the forest allows me to share it's space for a few fleeting moments. 

I am not a photographer, most of my digital captures don't merit a second glance; but, they do rekindle memories which allow my spirit to wander when my body is trapped in the world of humans. 


Happy Wandering. 




Monday, June 14, 2021

Bug (Out!) Shelter

I love wandering the forest in the summer. There is a palpable energy which entwines itself in my soul; calming my mind and restoring my balance.  

The only negative thing I can say about wandering the woods is the friendly neighborhood blood suckers; mosquitoes. These insects will plague your walk and force you into flight mode if you can't accept their presence. 

If you plan to take a break from walking, plan to stop in a open area where the wind will keep the insects at bay, or carry a shelter with you which can be erected in moments; this will allow you to take a break wherever and whenever you wish.

Happy wandering!    


 

  
 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Hammock Tent Review - Part two.


 A hammock tent changes the way you think about setting up camp. It is not as facilitating as a tent as it is constrictive; however, it is an amazing tent for use on wilderness adventures.

I have never used a hammock in all my years of paddling and camping. A review based on one night is hardly definitive but my experience can fill in the blanks. 

This video explores the negatives and positives about camping in a hammock. 

In my opinion, after forty years of camping, would I choose to carry the hammock on my next adventure?

We'll see. 

Happy camping. 






A Hammock for camping? Let's check it out. Part one.


 I decided to purchase a hammock tent primarily for use on my property. There are very few areas where I would choose to pitch a tent due to the understory plants which would be destroyed in the process. 


The beauty about a hammock is the fact that there is no footprint. As long as you have two trees which are spaced apart enough to strap the hammock to, you're good to go. 

It uses a very simple strap method for securing it to the trees. You can set this tent up in less then five minutes. The trees are not harmed in the process due to the web straps Eureka! has chosen for it's tent hammock.

In this video, I test out a hammock tent called the Chrysalis by Eureka!. 



Come and join me to see how this unit measures up to the realities of camping. 







Wednesday, May 26, 2021

What's under your canoe?


 I plunge my camera under the water of a beaver pond in late May to see what is hidden from the seat of my canoe. 

It's a fascinating world under the surface. Teaming with life, a beaver pond is integral to the health of any forest. 

Happy wandering. 


Monday, May 17, 2021

Thoughts about camp food and other things.


 When packing for a hiking or canoe tripping adventure, you have to keep the weight of your gear to a minimum. The heaviest of items will be your food. 

I ponder this and other camping thoughts as I test out a new food discovered in a supermarket isle. 

Happy Wandering!


Friday, May 14, 2021

Up Close and Personal with a Moose


The canoe slices through the water as silent as a shadow,  it's occupants stare intently at the distant shoreline where a moose browses on succulent water plants. 

Their paddles move in unison; slow powerful strokes propel the water craft toward the unsuspecting undulate. 

Moving to a distance of less than 100 meters, the bow canoeist stows his paddle and raises his weapon; a fully loaded Panasonic action camera. Slowly he raises the camera and presses the record button. 

The canoe drifts to within 20 meters of the cow moose as she continues her search for nutrient rich aquatic plants. 

Breathing becomes hard as excitement courses through the man's body; the Panasonic trembles in his hand as he trains the lens on the largest of Ontario's wild undulates. 

The canoe drifts into the shoreline, silent and unobtrusive, it now floats within 10 meters of the large mammal.

The two humans are now within the cows energy zone and she senses them. Looking over her shoulder, she sees a strange log which has drifted into her world. 

The humans freeze; they are well aware that if the moose decides a threat is imminent, she could seek to defend herself. The canoe and it's occupants would have no chance of evasion. 

The moose stares for a few moments at the two humans who drifted into her life; flaring her nostrils slightly, she breaths in the pheromones' released by the people within the canoe. 

Deciding there is no threat, she dips her mouth into the water and ingests one more delicious helping of water lily before silently disappearing into the surrounding forest. 

An opportunity to share the same air as a wild animal is rare and should be savored. Lowering your energy level allows you to blend into the wilderness.

Fear and Ego will destroy any chance you have of feeling the power of the wilderness. Learning to control those two emotions is vital to your success at becoming an integral part of your surroundings.

When you are fearful, the wild ones will not sense it as fear, they will sense it as aggression. The instinct to fight or flee will be triggered and any chance you have of interacting with them will be mitigated. 

Please be aware that you must know your subject. A moose is powerful and can move as fast as a race horse when it is threatened. It is imperative that you approach any wild one with respect and without expectation. 

Living life out here is full of surprises and imbues you with a sense of belonging which can't be found elsewhere. 

Happy wandering.







    

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What's under your canoe? The underwater world of a woodland pond. Part one.


Woodland ponds are an integral part of any forest ecosystem. Thousands of creatures live in, on and around these bodies of water. 

The transition from winter to spring is slow but dramatic. The previous years vegetation begins to decay over the cold winter months. Frogs and turtles dig into the detritus and mud on the bottom of the pond and enter a state of metabolism which mimics death. 

Otters, beavers and muskrats hunt and forage throughout the entire winter as deer, wolves and a myriad of other land mammals leave their tracks on the snow covered pond ice. 

As the ice melts, and sunlight once again penetrates into the depths of the pond; life awakens slowly to the gentle touch of the sun. 

This video is a short underwater exploration of a small woodland pond showing the difference between winter and mid spring. 

Fascinated by the process of renewal in natural ecosystems, I plan to film the pond in the same fashion each month until ice once again covers the pond's surface.  




  
  

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Otters and more on the Tim River


Way back in August of 2015, my son and I planned a trip which would take us down the Tim River in Algonquin park. 

The main purpose of this trip was to do research for my book. I had to gain a first person perspective on the route my protagonist would take on his fateful journey. 


We connected with the river via the portage from Queer Lake. Debris dams and beaver dams were brutal for the first two kilometers, this forced us to load and unload our canoe many times before finally reaching navigable
 water.  


The river bends and twists as it flows to Shippagew Lake, so much so, that I swear your compass will get dizzy.


If you decide to tackle the Tim, give yourself at least seven hours, yep, 7 hrs, to make the run from the falls to Shippagew Lake. 

This video highlights small portions of the river as it was back in 2015. 

Happy Paddling! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Quiet thoughts


 I spend much of my free time wandering through the woods. It's within the forests embrace that I can re-connect to the real world. I shed the encumbrances of social engineering and return to simple thoughts which lead me to a place of belonging. 


Shelters, such as the one shown in this video, give us a place to hang our hat so to speak. If the shelter is placed in a strategic position on your trail system, it becomes a place where you can relax and settle in for a light meal. 

I vocalize my thoughts as I carry on with simple camp tasks such as sharpening my knife and tending to the fire. 

Please remember to place your shelter in an area where it will not disrupt the flow of wildlife. The shelter in this video is totally portable. Within a few hours I can move it to another location if I feel it is affecting the flora and fauna in the area. 




Sunday, March 28, 2021

Why read "A Long Paddle Home?" An interview


 Upon the launch of my book, "A Long Paddle Home", I reached out to Canoe FM in Haliburton Ontario to determine if they would entertain doing and interview with me to promote the Book. 

I was elated when I received a call from Mike Jaycock who is a host at the station. He suggested I send him a copy of the book for his approval. 

This video contains a short clip of the interview. I have coupled the interview with videos of the area which is the book's stage.  

This book is more than a work of fiction. My editor had no idea how to "peg" it. Fiction, love story, mystical, spiritual and a host of other genres crossed her mind. We settled on fiction simply because the names and some of the events have been altered. 

I have divulged some deep secrets about our natural world within the text, hence my reluctance to promote the book too much. These secrets will be seen as a mere flight of fancy or ridiculous. I counter those arguments by asking, "Why are you afraid of the woods?" 

This book is a deep dive into the heart of the wilderness, it will take you on a journey where you will meet something which has always been, yet never seen. 

My wish is to open peoples eyes to the possibility that there are things which simply can't be explained by logic and social engineering. 

More snips of the interview will follow. 

If you have read this book, and have questions or comments, please feel free to ask. 

To Mike Jaycock and all the people at Canoe FM, Thank you. 


 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Testing out a Kick Sled. These sleds are a big deal in Norway.


 This kick sled was purchased at a garage sale. I modified it by adding wood runners and plastic slides for use with my sled dogs. The unit worked perfectly and covered many silent miles while my dogs and I traversed the lakes and forests of Algonquin. 

Several years ago, my constant companions passed away, I placed the sled in my barn and didn't give it another thought. I suppose I missed my dogs so much I didn't want to use it. 

With the recent melting of snow, the ice conditions on the pond were perfect. I decided to try the old sled out; this time, the way it was intended to be used. 

All I can say is that I should have thought of this much sooner than this present moment. These sleds are fun and if the ice conditions are right - they are fast.

The unit shown in this video was made by a company called Rapp. The model is Tarzan. (no joke, really, it's called Tarzan.) I don't know the year it was made but it's vintage for sure. 

There are several companies that manufacture modern kick sleds with customizable accessories and colors. 

If skates aren't your thing but you want to get onto the ice, check one of these sleds out. 

Have fun. 




   




Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Canoe Tripping - What to expect


 Canoe tripping is an experience which has to be lived to be understood. 

A canoe trip can be a simple drop and plop. This is when you park your car, load your canoe with your gear, paddle to a campsite on the same lake. This type of trip is great if you need some respite from everyday life and you want to "melt" into the landscape for several days of relaxation and rest.  

Canoe tripping; however, is a strenuous ordeal which requires planning and skill to execute effectively. I have seen people reduced to tears on a well planned trip. The reasons vary but inevitably the "tears" are the result of the persons expectations not meeting the reality of the situation. 

Some people have the Hollywood or YouTube idea of tripping in their mind when they plan a journey through the lakes and woods. They envision soft gentle clouds dancing across a blue sky and calm gentle waters upon which their canoe glides. The portage trails are relatively flat with gentle undulations in ground elevations. Torrents of mosquitoes and blackflies don't enter the theatre through which their mind is wandering.  

Canoe tripping has some of those elements; however, I can guarantee the bugs will take part in your trip; unless your trip is booked when the temperature is below 10 degrees. I can guarantee the portage trails will test your resolve. After walking the second 1,000 Meter portage you will ask yourself; "Why the heck did I pack all this junk?"
I can assure you that the wind will try to push you back to where you started and halfway through your adventure you will vow to never to do it again.

Experienced trippers know this simple truth and yet we plan our trips as soon as our tents and gear are stowed for the winter.

Tripping takes skill and patience, it takes courage and tenacity to complete a trip of extended distances. It will teach you everything you need to know about yourself. Your strengths and shortfalls will be highlighted by the trials and tribulations of a long canoe trip.  

When you plan a trip, add at least 20% onto your estimated time. Plan and then plan again. Expect rain and wind. Leave the YouTube versions of tripping on your computer. 

When your gear is packed, unpack it and pack it again leaving out the unnecessary items which are simply useless. Remember, wet gear can weigh five times the weight of dry gear therefore pack all clothing in dry bags and ensure your pack is water tight. 

When you launch your canoe onto the first leg of your trip, smile and draw the fresh forest air deep into your lungs. Dig your paddle deep into the water and pull your boat up to speed. Leave all your expectations and trepidations behind you in your canoe's wake. Every stroke of the paddle from that point on will be one of discovery and adventure. 

Happy Canoeing Everyone! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

How to use a stick to find your way in the woods


 I have led hundreds of hikes through wilderness and urban forests. I usually stop mid-hike and ask people to point in the direction from where they came. In other words, I ask them in what direction do we walk to return to their cars. 

It's funny when fingers start pointing in every direction and people suddenly realize that they have no clue as to where they are. 

Observation is the key to knowing your whereabouts out here. The average person will begin to veer off course within a half a kilometer, this is simply due to the fact of being left handed or right handed. If you are right handed, your right leg is usually stronger; therefore it will support your weight longer than your left leg giving you a longer stride on your left side. Confusing? Simply put, you will begin to circle right or left dependent upon your dominant side. 

In this video I show how to use the arc of the Sun to determine the North, South, East and West quadrants.  

The process is easy and will allow you to discern where you are in relation to where you have been. 

If you have ever been turned around while hiking, you know it is a scary feeling. Many emotions rise up slowly and begin to engulf you in a wave of panic. Simple tricks like this will allow you peace of mind while you traverse the wonder that is the wilderness. 

Happy Wandering. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Winter Trails for Wildlife


 Winter is harsh on wildlife. Food sources are limited and therefore the animals energy levels are not optimal. 

All winter wildlife have adaptions which allow them to survive during the lean months.

White Tailed Deer for example, enter a state where their metabolism reduces to the point where they can subsist on buds from trees.  

Never feed deer in the winter unless you can sustain it over the entire duration of the cold weather. The food you feed them will increase their metabolism to the point where they will become dependent on you for survival. 

You will help them much more by simply creating trails in the deep snow with snowshoes, skis or snowmobile.   This allows the wild ones to move through their home territories with very little expenditure of valuable energy. 

Of course, the wild ones do not need us; but since we live in their homelands, it suffices to say that helping them out by simply packing down a few trails goes a long way to making our transgressions feel less intrusive. 

Happy Wandering. 

  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Simple camp backrest


 The winter woods are full of wonder and silent secrets which have been written upon the snow for us to read and decipher. Snowshoes are a perfect conveyance for anyone wishing to reach the pages of the book. 

Snowshoes disperse your weight thus allowing you to traverse deep snow with relative ease.
 
Once you have a comfortable camp setup and a fire is radiating heat into your shelter, put your snowshoes to work and create a backrest. 

I refer to a term "kick" in this video. What I am referring to is the long piece of wood which extends from the back of a traditional snowshoe commonly referred to as the Algonquin snowshoe.


The "kick" helps to keep your feet tracking straight while walking. It can be a hinderance if you find yourself in dense bush but it is invaluable when traversing open fields and lakes. 

I prefer the bearpaw or modified bearpaw snowshoe as shown in this video. It disperses my weight perfectly and allows for ease of movement in the wilderness through which I wander. 

Hope this is of some service to my fellow wanderers. 

Happy wandering. 



  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Solo Winter Shelter - Effective and Easy


Snowshoeing into a winter wonderland is a beautiful way to spend a day. The silence of the woods and the clean crisp air invites curiosity and adventure. 

Winter hiking, especially in the deep woods, brings along with it the potential of mishaps which could place the wanderer into a survival situation. 

The very act of walking in deep snow with snowshoes is strenuous and could cause you to sweat. This in turn could cool your body down to the point of shivering. This is first stage hypothermia and if you are a long way from your starting point, you are now in trouble. 

There are many fancy shelters being displayed on social media; however, very few are portable and easy to set up. Not withstanding the environmental impact they cause. 

Using a simple eight by ten poly tarp, four carabiners, a pole and twenty feet or so of cordage; your shelter can be set up within a few minutes. All of this can be easily carried in or on your day pack. 

Once a fire is going and you are tucked into the shelter, you can remove the wet clothing and dry it within the shelter. 

This shelter is wonderful to sleep in. The white tarp allows moonlight to fill the interior with a glow which is comforting and beautiful. The simple lean-to style captures heat from the fire which easily brings the temperature of the shelter up to well above the freezing point. 

The best part of this set up is it's simplicity and the low impact it has on the forest.

Happy wandering. 

 



   

Monday, February 8, 2021

Testing a camp stove


Packing for a trip through the woods requires a few fundamental items. One of the items you should carry is a portable camp stove. 

Be it the humble hobo stove or a commercially made unit is a matter of choice and function. 

Always test your equipment before heading out. Ensure it meets or exceeds your needs and does not add too much bulk or weight to your pack. 

In this video I test out the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove. 

I am not affiliated with Uberleben or any company that sells their gear. I simply want to share with you  the equipment that can handle the reality of the bush. 

Happy Wandering

 

 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Testing out an Uberleben Kessel pot


Carrying a small provisions pack is always a good idea if you wander amongst the trees. Being able to eat on the trail and obtain drinkable water is a comfort which should not be overlooked.  

Having the means to boil water and cook food requires three essential items: 
1. A cooking pot - easily cleaned and light weight.
2. A source of heat - fire, camp stove or a hobo stove.
3. A means to light a fire or gas stove. 

Item one (1) on the list can range from a single walled stainless steel thermos to a stainless steel cook pot. 
There are many camp pots on the market and most of them will serve you well out on the trail. 

In this video, I test out an Oberleben Kessel 2.0 pot which I was very fortunate to receive as a gift. 

After testing this cooking utensil out; I can say with certainty, that it is the best cooking pot I have used in a lifetime of being out here.  

My old stainless steel pot will now reside in my tipi (teepee) as a permanent fixture and the new pot will be carried with me wherever my wanders take me. 

Notes:
I put the handle on the wrong way in this video. I should have read the instructions. Oops. 

I am not affiliated with Uberleben or any company that sells their gear. I simply want to share with you  the equipment that can handle the reality of the bush. 

Happy Wandering. 



 


   

Packing for a winter day hike

 


Wandering through the woods on a quiet snow clad day is an experience which is unique. You leave footsteps in your wake which shows you your past, the unbroken snow in front of you is a canvas upon which you will write your future.  

Such a hike leads to many discoveries and deep self examination. Your mind, body and spirit can join as one entity and soak in the beauty of the wilderness around you. 


Winnie the porcupine


Having a small provisions pack helps to extend your day in the woods. Knowing how much to carry is knowledge only gained through experience. 

This video explains the bare bone basics of a provisions pack for a typical day hike in the woods.  

Remember to carry only that which you need, all the rest is just extra weight. The snow will demand more of your energy to enjoy its beauty, the extra stuff you have in your pack will become a burden and it will detract from your experience. 

Happy wandering.   




Saturday, January 23, 2021

Harvesting Firewood Sustainably


 A forest does not need humans to manage it. The forest will evolve and change as dictated by nature. 

When people move into the area, the forest comes under immense pressure. Vehicle traffic and firewood cutting are high on the list of culprits. 

Heating a home with firewood takes a lot of effort. if you gather the wood from your own woodlot, managing your forest for sustainability becomes an absolute must. 

In this video, I showcase a multi-stalked Maple tree being culled for firewood.  Rot was developing between the trunks thereby threatening the entire tree. 

These multi-trunked trees are perfect for harvesting. Keep the straightest trunk and cull the rest. The remaining trunk will then have access to the entire root system and it will flourish. 

Felling trees is dangerous and should not be attempted by untrained or inexperienced people. 
Many people are maimed or killed every year because they attempted to put a tree on the ground.  

The method shown in this video is the safest method I know. It relies on a hinge of wood and well placed wedges. There are many videos on social media which will show you how to attain the proper cuts. 

Practice will give you the confidence to succeed. 

Happy homesteading. 









 


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Footprints


 When wandering, I'm always on the lookout for trail cameras. They are generally camouflaged and are tricky to find. Some individuals hang them about eight feet off the ground and point them on a forty five degree angle toward the trail. These are almost impossible to spot. 

Why do I look for these devices? It alerts me to the presence of potential hunting activities which in turn scares the wits out me if I am not in blaze orange. 

No, I'm not trespassing. I have found these cameras in Algonquin and surrounding Crown lands.

Private land owners are now resorting to using these cameras to inform them when a trespass occurs. I have talked to several land owners and the general consensus among them is that people are abusing the land. The destruction of living trees for Youtube shelters, tarps and garbage left to pollute once pristine woods and dangerous fire pits are high on the list of complaints. 

An elder, a long time ago, told me to "just leave footprints", it is a memory I carry with me into the woods every time I wander.

I just wanted to pass along this simple wisdom from a man who taught me how to "see" the forest. 

Happy Wandering. 


 

 

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ice Advice


 There is nothing like walking on a snow filled lake followed by silence and the mystery of the surrounding forest; however, it can be risky. 

The thickness of the ice varies due to factors such as current and temperature differentials within the water body. 

If you spend time out here, your wandering will bring you to the edge of a dilemma. Should you cross the ice or should you go around? 

Climate change has altered our winters, they have become more moderate. The bitter cold of January is no longer the norm. The thermometer rides a roller coaster every day and that temperature variation directly affects the formation of ice on the ponds and lakes we love. 

This video shows a method I use to cross ice, it's not fool proof but it will give you a fighting chance should you punch through ice that you thought was solid and safe. 

I have fallen through ice; and it was totally my fault.
I stumbled my way home with teeth chattering and hypothermia stalking me.
I called myself a fool more times than I care to admit. 

Once I thawed out, I had gained a whole new respect for the flat white expanse's of frozen water which seem so inviting to walk across. 





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