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Gear Review: Hotcore Products Mantis 2 Tent

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Book Review: Kevin Callan's Top 70 Canoe Routes of Ontario

There are days when I’d love to be out in my canoe, exploring somewhere I’ve never been before, but for whatever reason I’m unable.  On days like that I like to either go though photos from past trips, look at maps, or best yet, get ideas for new places to go and canoes routes to explore. I live in Ontario, a province with more lakes, rivers and canoe routes that I can hope to see in my lifetime (but I’m trying)!  Thankfully I have just the book, a bible of sorts really, that both inspires me and gets my imagination going; a book that anyone who paddles and lives in Ontario or visits the province should have: Kevin Callan’s “Top 70 Canoe Routes of Ontario”. Top 70 Canoe Routes Of Ontario What Kevin has put together is so impressive.  When you first hear the title of the book, you might think it rather dry; some kind of reference that you use’d use a few times before a trip, but generally sits on a shelf gathering dust.  This book is about as dry as the bottom of my canoe going though

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

Over the years I’ve had the chance to use many different kinds of water filters.  Filters that you pump, filters that you squeeze and filters that you fill up and then let drip.  Even one that you stick in the water and suck on like a straw!  The GRAYL GEOPRESS Purifier is the the first one I’ve used that you operate just like an AeroPress or french press coffee maker, exactly as the name would lead you to believe.  GRAYL also makes some of the most impressive purity claims of any filter I’ve used!  If you want to learn more, read on. Earlier this summer the folks at GRAYL asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing their product, no strings attached.   Always one to try something new, I said “Yes, absolutely!”   I had never heard of GRAYL before, so I had no idea what to expect. The GRAYL GEOPRESS Purifier When the product arrived in the mail from GRAYL Canada, I was surprised at the size of the device.   It’s taller than a typical Nalgene bottle, but slightly narrower in diameter.   I

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?