the pee bottle will save you from bugs and frost
the pee bottle will save you from bugs and frost

Pee In Your Tent

by Dudley

To pee or not to pee, is the question.

Deep in the woods and you suddenly wake up to a subtle calling from your bladder, it's time to pee. You resist and try to go back to sleep. You don't want to leave the warmth and comfort of your cozy sleeping bag. It has taken some time to settle in and toast up the bag, and now you must leave it to wander into the cold, dark, bug-infested night to pee. Every bone in your body resists, but your bladder is starting to create an uncomfortable pressure. Eventually, you have no choice... nature calls and you must answer.

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The Great Divide Trail is beautiful yet challenging *
The Great Divide Trail is beautiful yet challenging *

Planning for the Great Divide Trail

by Dudley

Planning for the Great Divide Trail is so very Canadian. 

Compared to the big 3 scenic hiking trails south of the border (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail)  the Great Divide Trail is a reflection of Canada's highly regulated norms.  You will need daily reservations for about 1/3 of your camping sites as the trail snakes 1100 km through many national and provincial parks.  You will also need a Parks Canada Discovery Pass just to enter the 5 National Parks en route. 

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Cold soaking is easy, light and simple
Cold soaking is easy, light and simple

Cold Soaking 101

by Dudley

Going Stoveless is liberating. No fuel, easy to clean, lighter, simple, and easy. I've been going stoveless for the past 5 years and loving it. In this video, I will share what I have learned about going stoveless and more important, my primer on Cold Soaking.

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It was a toxic combination of beans, exhaustion and a closed tent
It was a toxic combination of beans, exhaustion and a closed tent

Toxic Tent

by Dudley

It was a new challenge for 3 keen campers … climb a winter high peak in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.  However, with our blinded enthusiasm, we never anticipated what was about to happen. We arrogantly assumed we had planned for everything.

In 1993 Dave, Denis, and I were all strong and experienced campers, had done much and seen even more. So to bag a winter peak was just another thing to do for these self-respecting campologists. 

Although collectively we had ascended dozens of the high peaks in the spring, summer, and fall, a winter ascent was a right of passage for mountaineer wannabes. 

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My Pukaskwa National Park Coastal Trail was a "Fail"
My Pukaskwa National Park Coastal Trail was a "Fail"

Pukaskwa Fail

by Dudley

2020 is a strange year, heck it’s a nasty year, so why shouldn’t my Pukaskwa National Park Coastal Trail attempt be any different. 

2020 was supposed to be my Appalachian Trail (AT) year,  but COVID 19 shut that down. Still, I have made the best of it. I spent lots of quality time with family, reconnected with local wilderness, cycled and hiked, yet nothing seemed to be able to fill the gaping void left when the Appalachian Trail was denied.

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

10 Tips to Sleep Warmer

by Dudley

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 Dudley

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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Choosing My Gear

by Dudley

Introduction

Over the years my pack has slowly shrunk... the incredible shrinking pack!

There are a few reasons for this.

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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 Dudley

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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Campologist Talk

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

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