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Gear Review: GRAYL GEOPRESS Purifier ("Water Filter")

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Quetico 2023 Information Guide

Ontario Parks recently published the “Quetico 2023 Information Guide”, and it includes two of my photos (one of which is the cover!) and an article I wrote answering the question “Why do I choose to canoe trip in Quetico Provincial Park?”  The guide is full of great information about the park, the region, and the many organizations & businesses that either support the park or partner with it.  If you’ve ever considered visiting Quetico, and you really should, I highly recommend you give this publication a look!  Access the PDF version of the guide here or click on the photo below.

Gear Review: Mora Garberg Knife

 I recently replaced an old folding knife that was damaged with a new fixed blade knife, the Mora "Garberg".  To learn more, read my review of this outstanding knife posted here at Canadian Outdoor Equipment . The Strong and Versatile Mora Garberg

Review: VSSL Insulated Flask with Bluetooth Speaker

Being a big fan of the VSSL JAVA Coffee Grinder, the folks at VSSL send me a pre-release version of their new VSSL insulated flask last October.  The official name for this flask is the “VSSL INSULATED FLASK WITH BLUETOOTH® SPEAKER”, and that name might give you a hint as to what makes it different and sets it apart from the crowd! VSSL Insulated Flask with Bluetooth While I was pleased to be given the opportunity to use, evaluate and review another new product, this flask wasn’t something I had gone looking for, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Much like my VSSL coffee grinder, the flask is very well made and shows exceptional attention to detail.  This is not some cheap piece of camping gear you buy at your local hardware store, but the kind of product that will likely last your lifetime, or more! Made of stainless steel, the flask holds 8 oz of your favourite liquid, either hot or cold.  Since it’s double wall insulated, it’ll maintain the contents’ temperature for hours.  In terms

Gear Game Changers!

Every so often I acquire a new piece of gear that has such a big impact on the way that I camp, that I’d never go back to the old way. A few examples of where I’ve experienced this before include: Water Filters.  No more carrying too much water, boiling water for drinking, or using terrible tasting water purification tablets. Thermarests.  If you’ve never had to use solid blue foam pads, be grateful! Ultralight Tents.  Okay, reaching back here, but I really did camp and hike with an old fashioned, green canvas tent “back in the day!” Changes in the last few years may not have been as dramatic, but there have been fantastic additions to my kit that I think everyone should consider. Solar Power: Charging While Paddling Solar Charger My career and my hobbies have always revolved around tech of some kind or other.  As a result, trying to stretch every last milliamp out of the batteries and powerbanks I took with me into the backcountry grew into a fine art.  iPhone display on full? 

Book Review: Kevin Callan's "Another Bend in the River"

I thoroughly enjoyed Kevin’s previous book, “ Once Around Algonquin: An Epic Canoe Journey ”, so as soon as I heard he had a new one out, "Another Bend in the River" , I decided to buy a copy.   What a nice surprise that it turned out to be two books in one!   While the subtitle of the book is “The Happy Camper’s Memoir”, and that’s its main focus, it’s also chock full of “side bar” articles which cover a huge range of topics.  Examples include how to cook trout using Kevin’s favourite recipe; techniques for lining a canoe; choosing your first canoe; the value of spray skirts; even how to make bannock!  Although few of these would be considered secrets as tightly held as how to get the caramel into the Caramilk bars, they’re good reminders of things you might take for granted, and perhaps forgot, and are presented in a way that makes them eminently readable and entertaining.  You’ll undoubtedly learn something new as you read your way through the book; I did. Of course, th

Replacing An Old Friend

In 2007, I bought a used MEC Wanderer 2 tent for car camping and easy backcountry trips with only one or two short portages.   The extra room over my ultralight backpacking tent made it great for outings with family members.   The two huge vestibules with paired separate entrances made getting in and out easy, even with loads of gear, and provided great ventilation. My Old Friend: A MEC Wanderer 2 Well, after countless trips over 15 years, in all four seasons, it needs to be replaced; it's now beyond simple mending and seam sealing. Before pulling the trigger and making a purchase, I reached out to my Instagram community and asked for comments and suggestions.  Many people kindly took the time to engage, and I received great feedback and detailed comments.  I had a lot to think about! I took a morning to do some research, collect information, and pull together a summary of the key attributes of the various tents I was looking at, based on what’s important to me.   That last