I don't hang my food

I Don’t Hang My Food Anymore

by Bruce 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 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 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 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 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 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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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 Bruce Watts

To pee or not to pee, that is the question.

Deep in the woods and you suddenly wake up to a subtile 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 you 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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Winter camping can be both glorious and deadly - be prepared.

Winter Camping Tips

by Bruce Watts

Camping during the biting cold months of winter is FUN 😀. 

This is something you don’t hear very often. The more common response from the average sterile, dirt avoiding, carbon emitting city slicker is…. “are you $%*#@# crazy!”

I very well may be crazy, however not because I choose to venture out into a glorious winter wonderland and spend an few cozy crisp nights with a close friend in a snow cave or tent. 

When you are equipped with the right gear, knowledge and a positive attitude…. winter camping simply put… is glorious. 

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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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