Here in North America, Coleman Fuel (naphtha or “white gas” as it’s also called) has been the fuel of choice for camp stoves and lanterns since the dawn of time. It’s been so popular that if you go into any old garage you are bound to find a rusty tin container of the fuel under the workbench against the back wall.
According to Frank Schmidt a Senior Project Engineer at The Coleman Company, the fuel was developed in the early 1950’s as small motor fuel for lawnmowers, outboard motors as well as an industrial cleaning agent.
The popularity of Coleman Fuel as motor fuel declined in the late 1950’s with advancement of other, better fuel technologies but it has since remained the go-to choice for heating camp coffee in the morning.
So what is Coleman Fuel made of? In its simplest form it's a petroleum product either derived from natural gas or distilled from oil, coal tar or peat (partially decayed vegetation matter) due to its high carbon content. It also has a several other chemicals mixed in which include cyclohexane, nonane, octane, heptane, and pentane.
Coleman Fuel is ideal for small stoves and lanterns due to its refined purity and high heat output. It also doesn’t give off the black smoke and toxic fumes that regular gasoline or kerosene does.
Though it’s almost as flammable as gasoline, don’t put it in your car’s tank as the lack of some additives will cause engine knocking and eventually destroy your engine valves. Both of those are generally not good things.
How long does Coleman Fuel last before it loses its octane punch? A Coleman rep on a message board said this:
An un-opened container of Coleman Fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in temperature will remain viable for five to seven years. An opened container stored in the same area will remain viable for up to two years though will be at its best if used within a year.
More info on backpacking fuels: fuel.papo-art.com
You can get your VW Camper Van Tent from firebox.com for £299.99 and comes in Yellow, Red or Blue. Sadly you can’t get it to look like the Mystery Machine.
Now we just need somebody to develop a Back to the Future Delorean tent and we will be all set.
If you are the type of camper who hates scrapping burnt dinner off your dented pots (me) because of somebody’s poor cooking skills (mine) then you might be interested in the Hexa Pot. The Hexa Pot is a collapsible pot made from a special non-toxic waterproofing multi-ply paper material to prevent liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper.
Of course you’re asking how a paper pot won’t burn (like last night’s dinner) when it’s over the high heat of a camp stove. The secret is that as long as you have liquid in the bottom of the pot, it will keep the paper from getting hot enough to ignite. Isn’t science awesome?
According to the manufacture; it’s primarily designed as a single-use pot in the aftermath of a disaster to disinfect water by boiling but the material is strong enough to be used several times while out camping over the weekend. The pot is perfect for heating drinks and durable enough to cook a pasta dinner.
Right now you can’t buy it as it’s still in the prototype stage but they have posted the project on Kickstarter to try to raise the capital to bring it market so here is your chance to get in on the ground floor!
Photo credits: Hexa Pot
If a bothy bag isn’t part of your gear kit yet, you should consider adding this ultra-lightweight emergency shelter to it pronto. I’m a huge fan of them and it’s easily one of the top three pieces of gear that I own.
Basically a bothy bag is a nylon sheet cut to easily wrap around you and your friends while you sit on the ground. It cuts the wind and on a cool day warms everybody up with the body heat of the people inside.
To demonstrate their effectiveness, the gang from the White Squall Paddling Center put together a quick demonstration of them in action. My guess is that they stayed out for several hours long after the camera operator got cold and went back inside to watch television.
There are several manufactures like Terra Nova or Brooks Range Mountaineering who make them in various sizes. You can get them small enough to fit 1-2 people or as many as 12 if you regularly guide or paddler with groups.
If you were wondering where the name comes from, Wikipedia describes a Bothy as "a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge". Click through and read the full article and become a expert on the history of Bothies. You will impress everybody at your upcoming work holiday party later this week or at least something to talk about that isn't work-related...
Uh-oh, looks like your recycled fleece (or fleece in general) isn’t as good for the earth as we thought it was.
According to care2.com, washing your polar fleece causing micro pieces of plastic fibre to come off and end up on the river and eventually the ocean.
Scientists found that similar levels of plastic particles were found on shorelines and in the discharge from sewage treatment plants - meaning that most of the micro plastic bits are coming from our washing machines. Fleece shreds the most: Plastic-based garments (fleece from the eco-friendly company Patagonia is made from “recycled soda-pop bottles”) lose more than 1,900 fibers per wash, all of which goes into the ocean water, and thence into the cells of sea life.
More info: care2.com
Yep, looks safe to me. Where do I sign-up my gang?
Photo Credit: criggo.com
I’m going canoe camping with the family this weekend and I’ve decided to camp like this guy and really get away from it all.
See you Monday with good memories and new Nintendo Wii high scores.
Photo credit: Fail Blog
It’s about time that somebody invented an amphibious ice cream truck. I can’t wait until this summer and see this bad boy drive by float by my campsite.
I do remember once hearing a story of somebody who used expanding spray foam to insulate the front hatch of their double kayak to turn it into a mini freezer. They said they could keep ice cream in it for 2 days if they stored it beside some frozen steaks.
Given the option I think I would rather get fresh soft serve from the ding-dong truck...
One comment on the Gizmodo page (where I saw this post) made me chuckle. @Psych0billy said, “and hundreds of kids die from drowning after leaving the banks like lemmings.....”
You can see a pile more photos of this awesome creation of man here.
The Learn to Camp program involves a three pronged approach including an online website, community-based evening sessions and overnight classes at several provincial parks.
Throughout the camping season the Ontario Parks staff will be organizing free evening sessions in partnership with local community groups around the Greater Toronto area. The clinics will allow people who are thinking about going camping learn about provincial parks and how to make their first trip a success.
If you are a fan of emersion learning then you could sign-up for one of the overnight programs. It costs $46 and can have a maximum of six participants. It’s much more in-depth then the community sessions as it covers some of the key outdoor skills to make sure your camping experience is successful including settings up a tent, building a campfire, equipment choices, and food prep.
Finally, if you can’t get to an event in person, Ontario Parks has rolled out a fantastic online resource with all clinic materials online. I really appreciate that the site content is very practical and clearly aimed at the beginner camper with the goal of breaking down the intimidation factor. For example, the food section includes a sample meal plan as well as lots of information on things that I would never think about like how to actually cook on a stove safety or how to properly pack a cooler.
I love this initiative and congrats to Parks Ontario for rolling out.
Photo credit: Our camp at Nipigon Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Extreme camping has risen to a new level. Back in June 2010, a group of researchers and guides decided to plumb the depths of Nyiragongo Crater which is in the heart of the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Here are a couple photos from their adventure.