Category Archives: Questions


Advising new campers? Here’s some advice.

“…but I’m not looking for anything hardcore, yet.”

I’m often asked for advice about outdoor trips, and every once in a while, the person ends the question with the above statement.  I find this interesting, especially the “yet” part. The inference is that there’s a hierarchy to the camping world; your first trips start with a trailer full of propane tanks and a chainsaw, then you go to a campsite just outside of the suburbs, then you drive a canoe out to a nice little lake, and so on, until eventually, you’re dropped out of a helicopter into some rapids in the middle of winter with a knife in your belt and a wool blanket, to emerge six weeks later wearing a three-piece birch bark suit.

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Got myself an iPhone

So, lots of new things going on… I’ve got a new job and a new phone and probably a lot less time this year to go camping, but I’ll get a chance to check out the iPhone in the woods.

It has a gps, but I’m not sure how good it will be, since it relies heavily on being connected to the net. I don’t know if there’s any way yet to add local topographic maps for use offline.

One thing it will allow me to do is compose updates from remote areas. I know that I could just transcribe written notes, but let’s face it – if I were going to do that, I would have done it already.

One thing I’m looking forward to is trying out some solar cell chargers, since I like the idea of sustainable power. I don’t like throwing away batteries, but I also don’t trust rechargables enough to not bring alkaline spares.

A good solar system that would cover charging headlamp batteries, walkie-talkies, cell phones and cameras would be ideal.

Oh, and this is my first post using the iPhone!

Does anybody know of a good, light, durable, stylish liquor flask?

flaskI originally used the term “Mickey” instead of flask, but it seems that it’s a bit more of a Canadian-specific drink-related term than I thought, like May Two Four (TwoFer), A cube (12-pack of bottled beer), and many others.

From Wiki:
“# Mickey, a term for a 375 ml bottle of alcohol in Western Canada and Ontario. In Eastern Canada a mickey is a single shot of alcohol, packaged in an individual bottle.”

Don’t confuse this with a Texas Mickey, also a Canadian term.

I’m thinking of something to just bring a standard few shots of whiskey with me every time I go on an overnight, no matter the trip. I don’t get drunk when I go camping, and I’m disgusted at finding broken beer bottles in the middle of the wilderness that I love, but I love a bit of Irish cream or whiskey in the evenings.

I missed it this time, and in the absence of cigars and apple cider, I found myself wanting a bit of a taste around the fire.

I don’t care how old this post is when you read it, if you’ve got a suggestion, please let me know.

Something slim, and not too much capacity, around the 200-300 ml range should do me fine.

Or should I just get a small drink canister, like a Nalgene-style or the fuel-bottle type ones?

Oh, speaking of which, there’s an interesting post I came across on the whole Nalgene/Lexan thing.

I think I’ll hang on to my old beat-up 1.8L bottle myself.