I decided to go out for a night using only the stuff I carry in my survival pack whenever I’m out and about hunting day hiking or with the Junior Forest Wardens. I decided to video it since that seems to be what everyone else does. Learned a few things along the way. I think it is important to not only be prepared but to give your gear a few field trials to see what works and what doesn’t.
In this case I learned that my shelter was not really built to purpose. Also tried out a few techniques.
I did a more detailed write up at my other blog as well.
So I made this “survival can” based on one that is proposed by the Junior Forest Wardens. They said to use a Keen’s Mustard can but instead I decided to use a 326g coffee can. The key thing here though is to make sure the can is metal! It was actually hard to find metal coffee cans, it looks as though most have switched over to plastic. Luckily I put out a cry on Twitter and shortly after received a Tweet from @girlcarpenter that she had fourteen cans available that I could have. They even had the lids!
The idea of this kit is to put all the items together, put it in your pack and forget about it. I would actually tape up the lid and only go into it in a real emergency. It’s a little bulky I know and with some imagination it could be reduced further, however the idea is for the kids to have something in their packs! It also keeps everything organized instead of bouncing around freely in the pack. The coffee can becomes a pot for boiling water as well. Continue reading →
I was looking for something interesting that I could have the kids make at Junior Forest Wardens this week. I came across the idea of a camping stove that burns methyl hydrate and is made out of old pop or beer cans. Some people call them penny stoves. I thought that might be fun and relatively easy to do.
There are lots of others on You Tube so I decided I may as well post one as well so here ya go!
On the weekend I took a little hike with the Junior Forest Wardens club to Cutbank Falls. The trailhead is located about 45 minutes south of Grande Prairie, just after you cross the Cutbank River. We parked out vehicles in the rather large area off the highway.This is a pretty easy jaunt through the trees that follows ATV trails. The trails are pretty rutted due to the heavy use of off road vehicles. There is a rather long hill about halfway to deal with but apart from that the trail is pretty straight forward and we had and number of small children that were able to make the whole trip with no major issues. Continue reading →
There is often a debate that rages about what “camping” is. There are those who think that you are not camping unless you are sleeping under a lean-to of sticks and gathering rainwater from an inverted leaf dripping into a wooden bowl you carved out of a stump with your Bear Grylls survival knife.
Others are happy to drag a 50 foot fifth wheel trailer to a campground and sit by the gas fireplace inside watching movies all weekend, venturing out periodically to roast a token wiener over a gasoline sparked fire. “Drinking near trees” some people term this.
I know somebody who likes what he calls “wilderness” camping. That is dragging your 50 foot fifth wheel to a field, setting up your generator and spending the weekend there. I’m not so sure this is “wilderness camping” so much as “free” camping. Continue reading →
It was now Wednesday. After the terrific storm of the night before and the warnings we had received from other travellers about the weather possibly turning, we decided that we would
pack up our camp and move back up the Mountain Trail to the campground at Seep Creek. This would put us about 10km closer to the trail head. Once we got there we would set up camp, spend the night and when we awoke the following morning we would evaluate the weather. If it was nice I would go on a solo hike with one of the dogs up the Seep Creek trail while Harold remained behind with the other dog whose feet were not fairing so well. If the weather was bad we decided we would just pack up camp and head back to the cars. It seemed pointless to sit in the rain all day Thursday just so we could go to bed wet and hike out on Friday.
We packed up and headed out shortly before noon. The trip was mostly uneventful. We again crossed the various creeks. We stopped again at the patrol cabin where we ran into another group of hunters on their way out on horse back. This group also had a chuck wagon. They were pretty friendly folks. Continue reading →
Once again we awoke to clear blue skies. I got up and ate the last bagel I had packed so it sort of marked the passing of time. I had brought along three bagels as part of my food supply and ate one each morning toasted over my MSR Pocket Rocket stove. Along with this I was having a package of instant oatmeal and some instant coffee. I enjoy starting the day off with a good breakfast. Generally when I’m hiking I have a hot breakfast and a hot supper.
Lunch is not really an official event. I like to refer to it as second breakfast or elevensies in honor of Lord of the Rings! During the day we are usually on the move so I graze on dehydrate fruit, granola bars and chocolate bars. All-Bran bars were also a staple of my diet for this week of hiking. I decided on this trip to forgo trail mix. I was diagnosed with diverticulitis earlier this year. Apparently it is aggravated further by things like nuts and seeds. Last year a bout of stomach cramps landed me in the emergency ward the night before I was to go on a three day hike. In the back of my mind I was worried about a recurrence on this trip which would have been compounded further if we were several kilometres in the bush. Thankfully I had no stomach problems. Trail mix is a good weight to calories ratio however I am not taking a chance on stomach troubles. Continue reading →
Monday morning greeted us to clear blue skies and our main goal of the day was to hike up to an unnamed lake on the ridge line above our camp. I taped up my blistered foot with some gauze and duct tape and put on a fresh pair of thick socks over top a pair of lighter ones. We would be leaving our gear at camp and travelling with light packs with only a few essentials (rain gear, snacks, water, first aid etc.).
The trail was well used by both humans and horses and the climb took us about an hour through the trees. There were countless varieties of mushrooms along the way and I took a lot of pictures. I am really interested in plant identification but I am only just getting into it. As far as mushrooms go I know absolutely nothing. I never even realized how many varieties there were until this trip! There were many I have never seen before. Continue reading →
After we packed up on Sunday morning we continued on from Carson Creek along the Mountain Trail further in Willmore. The blister on my right foot was bugging me pretty good and I was cursing myself for having not got on it sooner. I think the new orthopedic inserts I was using in my hiking boots, which were supposed to help with my ankle problems, had raised my foot enough to find a new spot in my boot to irritate.
Harold was having a few problems with his heel so we decided that maybe we should hike the 4km to Eagles Nest Patrol Cabin and maybe plan to stay there for the night, rest up and do some day hikes the following day. Once we reached the Cabin, having to cross another creek in the process, we rested up and pulled some of our things out to dry in the sun.
It was early in the day however and it seemed a waste to seek the shelter of a cabin so early in the trip, we had not really roughed it at all yet. We decided instead to hike another couple of kilometres to a horse camp on the other side of the Wildhay River. The trail follows this river and it’s tributaries so there are frequent water crossings, most of which require taking off your boots, putting on sandals and crossing the icy water. When we got to the planned camp we found that there was a couple staying there already along with their horses. They were pretty friendly and even offered us some canned food to take along with us. I decided against it as I had Continue reading →
Our original intention had been to hike from Rock Lake to Grande Cache but we had been informed by Parks services that some of the trails were washed out and we were concerned about high rivers. We decided to modify our plan and work mainly in the southern end of the park.
I left from Grande Prairie at about 7:30am to drive down to the Rock Lake Staging Area where I would meet up with Harold. We departed the trailhead at approximately 12:30pm following what is called the Mountain Trail. This is basically an old logging road from way back. Willmore is a protected area that it is off limits to vehicles. The only way to travel is by foot or on horseback.
The weather was quite hot (high 20′s). The hike in was uneventful. There was the crossing of the Wildhay River which would have been mainly straight forward apart from when Harold’s blind dog walked off the edge of the steep bank and ended up in the river. He had to perform a quick rescue and the dog ended up a little cold and wet but other than that she was unharmed.
At Seep Creek we again removed our hiking boots and donned sandals to wade across the shin high water. We were planning to stay at the outfitter’s camp at Carson Creek for the night, approximately 12km down the Mountain Trail. When we arrived, however it was occupied by a large group of trail riders Continue reading →