A Walk in the Woods - Film

First full trailer for Redford’s “A Walk in the Woods” movie

Robert Redford had been wanting to make this film for over ten years, and announced in 2005 that he would star in the film adaptation of Bill Bryson’s tongue-in-cheek narrative of his time along the Appalachian trail. The film finally was confirmed for release last year.

I’m not sure how different this will be from Bryson’s account of his journey to find himself, but both Redford and co-star Nick Nolte are a lot older than Bryson and Katz appear in the book.

There are a host of supporting characters played by the likes of Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen and the quirky Kristen Schaal and Nick Offerman are sure to please with their drop-in roles.

The movie is set to release on Labour Day weekend in North America. See the full trailer here:

The official page for the site appears to be their Facebook page at this point.

Canoecraft cover

Backyard cedar strip canoe: Part 1, Introduction

So, I’ve done it!

Cedar strip canoe example

An example of the beauty of cedar strip canoes, photo courtesy of Dan Iggers.

[The Story so far]
This is the first in a series of posts about building a backyard cedar strip canoe. Follow along as I research, cost, plan, schedule, and possibly fumble my way through an urban build of one of the most loved forms of backcountry transportation. 

Well, to clarify, I haven’t done a damn thing, yet.

I’ve gone and decided to make a cedar strip canoe. As of a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know much more about them than how they look (pretty darn beautiful, if, like above, they turn out well).

Had I paddled one before? I could count the number of times without using fingers. I had very little idea of the history and actual construction details behind this particular boat-building technique.

I’ve since dug around a bit, read a few things on the interweb, some encouraging, some dismaying, but nothing yet that told me I’m wildly unrealistic.

Challenges

I’m a city dweller with no garage or basement, but a nice little yard space behind the house I rent, so my goal will be to build this canoe in my backyard with zero boat-building experience, few carpentry skills, fewer power tools, and limited time outside of my full-time office job.

I have to take the seasons into account, this being Canada, with a two-season climate (Winter and Construction). So to account for my inexperience and current lack of research, I’ve decided to give myself a goal to be paddling a finished product in 2016.

I want to research and collect resources this winter, so I’ll have a good idea of the costs, skills, materials, and equipment needed.

My research will influence how I schedule the build, since there are climate/temperature-specific stages to the process. The key here is to be flexible based on what I learn and to tailor things to my particular circumstances.

Resources

At this point, I’m not going to list my resources — the list has gotten very long, very quickly, but to be of any use to you, I want to post only what has been of use to me, and that will start to become apparent the more I progress down this road.

At this point, however, almost everything I’ve read and seen online points to the book Canoecraft, by Ted Moores. I’ve picked it up and have started reading, and judging by the inspiring first pages, I expect it to be a good read, and a good reference for the rest of my journey.

Reading a page from Canoecraft, by Ted Moores

A page from “Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction” by Ted Moores

I hope that by following along with my successes (I hope there will be at least one, and it floats) and failures (I expect at least a few — but ones we can learn from), you will learn what might work for you, should you decide to do something similar.

If you have no intention of doing something like this, I hope to inspire you, or at the very least entertain you.

In any case, I’ll document as much as I can to bring you along for the ride.

Visit again soon for the next part, “Research”.

New Nomad products on the way

Nomad Clip

 

 

Looking forward to a couple of new products from Nomad, who have made some innovative on-the-go charging connectors.

They have a decidedly more urban focus, as you can see by their recently-announced NomadPlus battery add-on for the Apple wall lump, but the portable power option is definitely useful to many travellers.

NomadPlus

The NomadClip is something to look forward to — it has clean, stylish lines, will add the standard utility that you get from any light-duty carabiner, and the connectors are integrated in such a way that you don’t notice the extra space they take.

It’s not a climbing carabiner, of course, but I don’t think that’s a feature I’d need or care about in this case — I’ll use proper climbing carabiners when needed, thank you.

Stay tuned for a review when it hits the market this fall.

Nomad Clip dimensions

I’ve gone tripping with some of their older products and my Solio charger, which I think is a great combination to bring sustainable personal power with you in the wild.

What I’d really like to see is something with USB power-out, connection cables/ports, AND the ability to recharge itself and other cells, like those in my flashlights (AAAs and RCR123s). All in a compact package that’s light enough for a backcountry trip. Since they both seem like they’re just gaining momentum, either company could enter the market with something like this in the near future.

A city-dweller's outdoor travels, gear reviews and field tests, survival tips and tricks, camping and canoeing.