Two quick camping tips:
If you are planning on going camping this weekend only to discover there is a fire ban, remember that some areas are even worse so don’t get too upset. Also, don’t piss off your camping neighbour next door and they might do you a favour when the rangers come by.
July 30th will be the 40th anniversary of that film that made everybody terrified to canoe down rivers, Deliverance.
Staring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty, Deliverance is the story of four friends who decide to canoe down the (fake)
To celebrate the anniversary, Yahoo movies (known for their hard hitting investigative journalism) interviewed the cast to get their memories of the making of the film.
The interview has the usual fluff but does have an interesting conversation about the cast learning to canoe and how they choose the canoes for the film:
Ronny Cox: That was the thing about Burt. When we were doing canoe practice, Burt couldn't be bothered with having to learn the right way to do stuff. But the thing was, he ended up being the best canoeist of us all, because he would just go there with this attitude of 'God D**nit, I can do this.' And he would just do it. So that spirit of 'I can do this' sort of pulled us through."
Jon Voight: Also, he had the much better canoe. He had the one that wouldn't sink!
Burt Reynolds: I didn't pick the pretty one, you did!
Ronny Cox: The wooden
canoe is not intended for white water. It's a lake canoe. No stability. The Aluminum canoe is very broad. Old Town
Burt Reynolds: Ronny, when we went out to pick the canoes, I said 'Jon is the lead in the picture, let him pick the canoe.'
Jon Voight: To tell you the truth, the reason why I picked the green canoe is because it matched our characters. There's no flash in our characters. We were kind of homeboys. And this was a more humble thing. But it was dangerous to pick that canoe, and we knew it, because every time you'd hit a rock you'd hear the ribs of the canoe give way. It wasn't a happy experience to have that canoe. But Ed should have been in that canoe. Lewis should have had the higher tech stuff, and he looked more like Lewis in that canoe.
But Burt laughed about my choice. Because we were very competitive always. And as soon as I made the choice, he was chuckling to himself knowing I'd be fortunate not to sink. Many years later he gave me the present of a small replica of that canoe, which I have on my mantelpiece, and it says 'Voight's Choice.'
Ronny Cox: I saw in John Boorman's commentary on the DVD that in the course of making the film, Jon and I wrecked five canoes. That scene at the end of the picture where they find that half a canoe, they [the crew] didn't have to do that, we did that for them. Burt and Ned would run a set of rapids, if they had the slightest inkling of trouble, then the crew would make big bets that the two of us would wreck. You could make a lot of money betting on us wrecking.
If you are interested in seeing the two canoes in the flesh, they are currently on display at the Burt Reynolds Museum located in Jupiter, Florida.
Film capture credits: mickeyandava.blogspot.ca
I don’t care what camping traditionalists or lightweight campers have to say; I feel that Coleman’s new propane powered camping oven is one of the greatest inventions in the last 10 minutes.
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