Category Archives: gear

winter clothing test

I was out doing some testing on winter wear. One thing I wanted to try was using vapour barriers in my boots to keep the liners from freezing up on overnight campouts. The other item was trying to dial in my layering system for hiking.

Although the boot test wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, it wasn’t a lost cause either. The answer may be in a specialized winter sock that acts as the vapour barrier.

As for the layering, I think I’ve settled on the MEC T3 zippered pullover (polyester) as my base layer, one of two polyester fleece’s over that (depending on temps I have a thin and a thicker one) and a MEC Synergy 4 outer shell that is waterproof and breathable.

I am heading off to the mountains south west of Calgary this weekend for a two night outing so I’ll keep everyone posted on how that went. They are in a snowfall warning as I write this and the lows are expected to be about -15c while we are down there. Sounds like it will be fun!

GoPro replaced…

I received a replacement GoPro Hero 3 Black edition to take the place of my original one which had developed some issues. It seems I’m not the only one who had problems. Surprisingly, it came just 2 weeks after me sending the defective one back. That was impressive. Now I’ve got to try and remember all my settings and get out using it. The snow is almost gone in most areas so hopefully it won’t be long and I can start putting things of interest back on here.

Some bad electronic gadget happenings…

I’ve been using Time Machine and “My Book for Mac” to backup my pictures. I have about 5000 pics and video on my mac. A couple weeks ago, as I was trying to backup, something happened and I lost all pictures and video going back to last September. I have no idea where these pictures went and all attempt to find them have proven unsuccessful. Not in my trash, nowhere.

I was never comfortable backing up. That is one of the reasons I still had my pictures on the computer. I never seemed to be able to retrieve anything. After a few tries, I finally was able to get a good portion of the pics back but now in iPhoto, all I see is a white frame where the pictures should be. If I scroll through the pics they very briefly show, then disappear. Any advice I have followed has not worked in restoring the pictures. As you may be able to tell, I’m somewhat computer challenged, but I’m still frustrated!

Then my new GoPro had issues. If you have one of the new Hero3 Black’s, you’ll be aware that there have been many issues with them. I’ve posted a couple of videos with it here but never really had a chance to play with some of its capabilities until recently. My issues started with a synch problem between the camera and the remote. I had to download the firmware several times to even get it to work every once in a while. I started a dialogue with GoPro and they were really good. But the synch problem still existed. Then, for some reason, in one of the video settings I took, the video ended up being a mirror of itself. Everything was reversed. So they have agreed to replace the camera. Hopefully this will work but I’m not sure how long it will take to get a replacement.

Electronics! Not my favourite subject.

Another camera…

I picked up a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition yesterday. This will be added to my collection of cameras, which include a Nikon D40x and a Canon S95. I have an older Olympus Tough but it’s video quality has seen better days and just sits on the shelf now.

Each camera has its purpose. The “Black” will replace the S95 for filming more rugged outdoor activities like biking which the S95 really isn’t made for. It takes very good video but it is not water proof whereas the GoPro is.Unknown

The GoPro will be tested next week in Mexico and I hope to get some quality underwater shots while snorkeling. I’m certainly not familiar with it yet but I think I know enough at this point to at least make it work!!

Watch for some updates in the next 10 days or so.

taking my stove making to a new level…

My stove making adventures continued today as I stopped to pick up some beer and thought, why not try making the next level stove!!

It has been my goal to make a fully rolled stove and have been progressing towards that result. So, after finishing one of the beers, out to the garage to get at it. Within an hour I had this finished and I must say I was impressed with the quality. Keep in mind this was a nice controlled indoor test. Next up is getting it out in the cold for a true test.

Watch the video to see the first burn test…

Backyard boil battle…

I’ve been frustrated by the lack of performance from my alcohol camping stoves recently in cold weather. So I thought I’d put a couple of them up against each other outside in the yard. Conditions were cold, -6 to -7c (20F) and I was able to simulate a camping experience by using cold water, a cold pot and cold stoves. I did keep my fuel at room temperature to ensure it ignited.

All of the tests were pretty close in similarity and at the end of them, my frustration was still there as the same issues I’ve experienced camping replicated themselves in the yard!


Here’s the video of the tests;

Thanks for watching.

Been a while….

Since my last post. Not a lot has happened other than going out a couple of weeks ago with my buddy for an overnight hang at Elk Island Park. It was a good one-nighter, the skies were clear, the stars were amazing and we had lots of bison roaming around us.
It got down to just above freezing through the night, our water didn’t freeze so that was good. It was more of a test of my buddies gear since he hadn’t been down to those cool temps yet and he did okay. There will have to be some tweaking of his rig to make sure its good to go next time.
As for me, I had a good night. Other than a cold right foot, and the dog we could hear barking all night long, I stayed warm and toasty.

Since that hang, I have purchased a new compact cook kit and stove from Smokeeater908. This is the video of me opening it:

Just a few minutes after I opened the package, I did my first test boil with the Flashover Stove. Here’s the video of that;

I have to work on my video editing skills. I just purchased a new Canon S95 camera that shoots in HD. Together with my Mac and iMovie I hope I can put together some interesting shots.