Throwing knives for survival


From the first time I saw James Coburn play the ultimate badass in the 1960 classic The Magnificent Seven I (and I suspect many of my readers) thought, “How cool would it be to have that skill?” Possessing an awesome skill is, of course, impressive, no matter what the discipline, but let’s put this into context. Does throwing a knife make…

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Backyard cedar strip canoe: Part 1, Introduction

Canoecraft cover

So, I’ve done it! [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…

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Knife-making with Dean Piesner and Robb Martin


Knowing as much about my tools as I can has always been the way I’ve been wired. It’s the reason I took up an interest in blacksmithing in the first place — I took a one-day historical society course on how to make a traditional Native neck knife (the pocketknife of the fur trade era)….

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Winter Power Outage Tips


  December, 2013 — although it usually means mild times in Toronto, a severe ice storm has left a good many residents without power, and by extension, heat. The temperature as I write this is -10° C (about 14° F), and will be dropping, not rising throughout the day. #icestorm2013 and #darkTO are the only things on…

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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…

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Making a classic bow-frame saw


I’m the first to admit that despite my love of the outdoors and the woods, I’m relatively unschooled in the fine art of woodworking compared to some. Natural wood has a life and character unlike any other material, and it’s hard to ignore those who make this craft their pursuit. I love to listen and…

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Time for a wanigan


  I’d like to talk about one decision I’ve made when it comes to kitchen on a canoe trip. There’s a part of me that wants to go as ultra-light as possible, knife and a flint striker and some rope, and improvise from there, but there’s another, more obsessive side that wants to bring every…

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A new leaf

I’ve decided to take a step back and look at this site. I haven’t updated throughout the winter, and although I camp year-round, sometimes there can be big pauses between trips. So to move things along during the slow times, I will be writing reviews of various gear that I’ve tested and used. Further to…

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