Here is a match burning in super slow motion. Now you know what happens every time you strike one to light the campfire.

Published in General News
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 13:40

Black Bear vs. Kitty Cat

Here is positive proof that you should always bring a kitty cat out on your camping trips and set her up as your first line of self-defence against bears.*

*Legal disclaimer: Act like my children, don't follow my advice.

 

Published in Funny

If you thought that the campfire you built last summer was big, check this out.

The photo is from an attempt to build the world's biggest bonfire in 2012. I’m not sure if they beat their old record from 2010 in which they constructed a monster 40 meters high. Apparently nobody was hurt in the photo but everybody seems to be standing a bit close for my liking. Maybe it's the Viking way.

Looks like the people of Ålesund, Norway have been fans of burning stuff on midsummer's eve since at least 1954 as evidenced this by this very cool photo history page.

BTW - Good nerdy quote found on the video youtube page by MrEdJepson: THE BEACONS ARE LIT! Gondor calls for aid.

Published in Weird

I’m here to help you get through your Friday so just keep this page open all afternoon. A word of warning though, keep an eye out for your boss as your productively is guaranteed to plummet.

campfire

Published in General News

I will be the first to admit that I have a thing for stoves the same way that some women have a thing for shoes so when I heard about a new stove on the market called the Solo Stove I contacted the company to see if they could send me a sample I could try.

There are several other wood burning camp stoves on the market but what makes this one unique is its double walled design which channels air in and around the flames. Solo Stove describes how it works:

Designed with a double wall, the Solo Stove™ (patent pending) is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove. The air intake holes on the bottom of the stove channels air to the bottom of the fire while at the same time, channels warm air up between the walls of the stove. This burst of preheated oxygen feeding back into the firebox through the smaller holes at the top of the stove causes a secondary combustion. This allows the fire to burn more complete which is why there is very little smoke during full burn. A more efficient burn also means you'll use much less wood compared to an open camp fire. The Solo Stove doesn't just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice!

The Solo Stove without the windscreen installed.

The Solo Stove is pretty rugged being made out of high-grade stainless steel. It’s also compact at 3.8 inches high and weighs in at only 9 ounces. The stove also has an integrated wind screen and pot stand which due to its clever design fits inside the stove when inverted enabling it to pack down.

How did it perform?

The quick answer is that it worked wonderfully and boiled water like it was going out of style.

Throughout the morning while out walking the dog, I collected a bunch of dry twigs and small sticks at our local park (all while avoiding the weird looks I was getting by fellow dog walkers). I also made an easy fire starter using cotton balls and Vaseline (quick tip: mix them up and store in a small zip-lock bag to keep your hands clean).

The Solo Stove

After lighting and getting the fire going, I put a litre of water in a pot on the stove and started the timer. 9 minutes later the water was boiling away.

Solo Stove also sells several accessories including a small pot as well as a windscreen to help speed up boil times. For those who are worried that they will not be able to find dry wood after a serious downpour, they sell a small burner insert that quickly converts it over to an alcohol stove. This will help bring peace of mind as well as allow you to use the stove even if there is a fire-ban in your area.

There are several advantages over using a wood stove over a typical white-gas stove:

  • The fuel is free and you don’t need to lug bottles or cans of camping gas throughout your trip.
  • There are no moving parts to break down or get clogged which is a pretty very common problem with white-gas stoves.
  • Except for the sweet sound of burning wood, the stove is completely silent. The roar of my beloved MSR DragonFly on camping trips drives me absolutely crazy.

Of course there are some disadvantages as well:

  • You will need to be proactive in keeping a little cache of sticks just in case you encounter wet wood. Or flip over to using the alcohol burner insert.
  • You likely won’t be allowed to use it if you are camping in an area with a fire ban as there is no on/off switch like a gas stove.
  • You will need to practice with the stove before your first trip (but that’s the same issue for every stove on the market).
  • As with any wood burning stove, your pot will blacken with soot.

Solo Stove and pot boiling water.

So what’s the verdict? I’m going to give it a couple more lights but I’m pretty confident that it’s going to become my primary stove when out on camping trips.

The Solo Stove retails for $69.99 and be found at solostove.com or several online shops including Amazon.

Published in Gear Reviews
Monday, 17 December 2012 21:06

Where Should We Go Camping? [Funny]

Trying to decide where to go camping can be a tough decision...

Image credit: imgur.com

Published in Funny
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 16:07

For Sale: Double Sleeping Bag [Funny]

For sale: double sleeping bag

Even if the sleeping bag was free I don’t think I would take it.

Photo credit: criggo.com

Published in Funny

doritos as kindling

This little nugget of advice could save your life if you happen find yourself car camping at your local state park and run out of kindling. That being said, it would be a real shame to waste those Doritos on a life-giving fire.

I found this handy little tip on the greatest website of all time. Make sure you check out 99 Life Hacks to Make Your Life Easier. You will thank me later.

Published in General News

Sorry it’s been so quiet over the past couple of weeks. Life has been way to busy to do any writing.

The above image floated across my desk today and I couldn’t help but post it.

If these sleeping bags were available today I would get one right away (for the kids of course. Yes, for the kids).

Photo credit: voicesofeastanglia.com

Published in Gear

Check out this very cool raw footage from a recent five day canoe trip in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park north of Kenora, Ontario.

The film was shot by Justin Evidon using a Canon 5D Mark 2 and even in its raw, uncut form, it looks fantastic. Make sure you stick around for the forest fire footage. It seems a little close to their campsite if you ask me...

There is a great set of Flickr photos of the trip but sadly sharing has been disabled so I can only provide a link.

Top photo credit: Capture from video - Justin Evidon.

Published in Video
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