Cold weather camping is wonderful if you are prepared, otherwise it can be down-right nasty !

10 Tips to Sleep Warmer

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

Introduction

After a long and rewarding day on the trail, it’s so important to get some quality sleep so you can recharge fully for tomorrow’s adventures. Ideally, you want to be warm and smiling as you effortlessly visit cozy snooze-ville. You definitely don’t want to struggle with a sleepless nasty shiver-fest. Keep in mind that everyone's metabolism and body structure is different …and please consider these tips as suggestions, NOT rules!    

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I don't hang my food

I Don’t Hang My Food Anymore

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

When wilderness camping,  you will be sharing the backwoods with countless hungry, curious critters. We are guests in their home, and they find the delicious scents you bring with you at a minimum interesting… and possibly even hard to resist as a meal of opportunity. 

I’m well aware I share the forest with countless creatures and have been dutifully hanging my food bag out of reach of bears and other mid-size animals for years.  When I first started backwoods camping in the early ’80s this was frankly the only option. 

Despite all my good efforts, and even when my hangs were well beyond the prescribed parameters… I have lost 2 bags to Mensa smart athletic bears and countless sacks have been ripped open by bloodhound-ish red squirrels. 

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Bruce celebrating the completion the 900 kms Bruce Trail at the northern terminus in Tobermory
Bruce celebrating the completion the 900 kms Bruce Trail at the northern terminus in Tobermory

My Gear on the Bruce Trail

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

I've been hiking for over 40 years, and with the passing of time... my gear has evolved.  

Originally one of the most important factors was price. I was young, with less disposable coin and frankly less committed to the sport. This has changed.

As time moved, so did my knowledge, skills, and commitment.  Likely the biggest changes to my gear list were because of these 3 issues; more available money, improved product technology, and changing camping styles.

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It was easy crossing rivers on the ascent, yet the descents were darn dangerous

Mountain Rivers - The Ups and Downs

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

Spring hiking in the mountains has lots of surprises. Dangerous surprises. This doesn't include the hungry bears emerging from hibernations, nor the swarms of thirsty black-flies in the hunt for their first taste of blood. Likely the most deadly of mountain dangers are the cold, fast and unpredictable rivers.

Several decades ago while on my first spring backpacking trip in the high peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, I learned this truth the hard way.

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The 1st season of spring is "Muck"

The 3 Seasons Of Spring

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

I'm not crazy (I know that's what all crazy people say).

I truly know there are 7 days in the week, 12 months in the year, and 24 hours in the day (except for Canadian metric time of course) but when it comes to the 4 seasons, I take some liberties. I have created several sub-seasons to the traditional spring, summer, winter, and fall.

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During "SNOT" season, the pollen can could grief to folks with our without allergies.

SNOT - The 2nd Season of Spring

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

There is only so much you can do during allergy season... or as I refer to it... SNOT season!

Every spring while the trees vomit their pollen... I suffer.  My nose drips like a leaky faucet, my lungs fill with fleme. My muscous membranes are working in overload creating an a abundance of SNOT. My energy level slags, and my puffy red watery eyes resemble the undead! 

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Water bottle pack pockets can be dangerous... keep your precious loads safe :)
Water bottle pack pockets can be dangerous... keep your precious loads safe :)

Pack Pockets are Dangerous

by Bruce “Dudley” Watts

Not really ... but bare with me as I share my backwood's tale of woe.

Carrying water in the backwoods is always a challenge.

Water is the heaviest item in your pack at 1 kilogram per litre, yet likely the most important! So when it comes to water, there are loads of questions and a zillion different answers, and every wanna-be campologist has an opinion!  How do you carry the world's most valuable resource? Where do I get it? How do I ensure its safe? Do zombies drink water? ... and how do Urban Cougars survive only drinking Cosmo Cocktails?

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Campologist Talk

A blog for campers by campers. Bruce is the primary contributor, with regular posts from Tracy and friends.

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