I’m here to help you get through your Friday so just keep this page open all afternoon. A word of warning though, keep an eye out for your boss as your productively is guaranteed to plummet.
I will be the first to admit that I have a thing for stoves the same way that some women have a thing for shoes so when I heard about a new stove on the market called the Solo Stove I contacted the company to see if they could send me a sample I could try.
There are several other wood burning camp stoves on the market but what makes this one unique is its double walled design which channels air in and around the flames. Solo Stove describes how it works:
Designed with a double wall, the Solo Stove™ (patent pending) is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove. The air intake holes on the bottom of the stove channels air to the bottom of the fire while at the same time, channels warm air up between the walls of the stove. This burst of preheated oxygen feeding back into the firebox through the smaller holes at the top of the stove causes a secondary combustion. This allows the fire to burn more complete which is why there is very little smoke during full burn. A more efficient burn also means you'll use much less wood compared to an open camp fire. The Solo Stove doesn't just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice!
The Solo Stove is pretty rugged being made out of high-grade stainless steel. It’s also compact at 3.8 inches high and weighs in at only 9 ounces. The stove also has an integrated wind screen and pot stand which due to its clever design fits inside the stove when inverted enabling it to pack down.
The quick answer is that it worked wonderfully and boiled water like it was going out of style.
Throughout the morning while out walking the dog, I collected a bunch of dry twigs and small sticks at our local park (all while avoiding the weird looks I was getting by fellow dog walkers). I also made an easy fire starter using cotton balls and Vaseline (quick tip: mix them up and store in a small zip-lock bag to keep your hands clean).
After lighting and getting the fire going, I put a litre of water in a pot on the stove and started the timer. 9 minutes later the water was boiling away.
Solo Stove also sells several accessories including a small pot as well as a windscreen to help speed up boil times. For those who are worried that they will not be able to find dry wood after a serious downpour, they sell a small burner insert that quickly converts it over to an alcohol stove. This will help bring peace of mind as well as allow you to use the stove even if there is a fire-ban in your area.
There are several advantages over using a wood stove over a typical white-gas stove:
Of course there are some disadvantages as well:
So what’s the verdict? I’m going to give it a couple more lights but I’m pretty confident that it’s going to become my primary stove when out on camping trips.
Trying to decide where to go camping can be a tough decision...
Image credit: imgur.com
Even if the sleeping bag was free I don’t think I would take it.
Photo credit: criggo.com
This little nugget of advice could save your life if you happen find yourself car camping at your local state park and run out of kindling. That being said, it would be a real shame to waste those Doritos on a life-giving fire.
I found this handy little tip on the greatest website of all time. Make sure you check out 99 Life Hacks to Make Your Life Easier. You will thank me later.
Sorry it’s been so quiet over the past couple of weeks. Life has been way to busy to do any writing.
The above image floated across my desk today and I couldn’t help but post it.
If these sleeping bags were available today I would get one right away (for the kids of course. Yes, for the kids).
Photo credit: voicesofeastanglia.com
Check out this very cool raw footage from a recent five day canoe trip in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park north of Kenora, Ontario.
The film was shot by Justin Evidon using a Canon 5D Mark 2 and even in its raw, uncut form, it looks fantastic. Make sure you stick around for the forest fire footage. It seems a little close to their campsite if you ask me...
There is a great set of Flickr photos of the trip but sadly sharing has been disabled so I can only provide a link.
Top photo credit: Capture from video - Justin Evidon.
Two quick camping tips:
If you are planning on going camping this weekend only to discover there is a fire ban, remember that some areas are even worse so don’t get too upset. Also, don’t piss off your camping neighbour next door and they might do you a favour when the rangers come by.
July 30th will be the 40th anniversary of that film that made everybody terrified to canoe down rivers, Deliverance.
Staring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty, Deliverance is the story of four friends who decide to canoe down the (fake)
To celebrate the anniversary, Yahoo movies (known for their hard hitting investigative journalism) interviewed the cast to get their memories of the making of the film.
The interview has the usual fluff but does have an interesting conversation about the cast learning to canoe and how they choose the canoes for the film:
Ronny Cox: That was the thing about Burt. When we were doing canoe practice, Burt couldn't be bothered with having to learn the right way to do stuff. But the thing was, he ended up being the best canoeist of us all, because he would just go there with this attitude of 'God D**nit, I can do this.' And he would just do it. So that spirit of 'I can do this' sort of pulled us through."
Jon Voight: Also, he had the much better canoe. He had the one that wouldn't sink!
Burt Reynolds: I didn't pick the pretty one, you did!
Ronny Cox: The wooden
canoe is not intended for white water. It's a lake canoe. No stability. The Aluminum canoe is very broad. Old Town
Burt Reynolds: Ronny, when we went out to pick the canoes, I said 'Jon is the lead in the picture, let him pick the canoe.'
Jon Voight: To tell you the truth, the reason why I picked the green canoe is because it matched our characters. There's no flash in our characters. We were kind of homeboys. And this was a more humble thing. But it was dangerous to pick that canoe, and we knew it, because every time you'd hit a rock you'd hear the ribs of the canoe give way. It wasn't a happy experience to have that canoe. But Ed should have been in that canoe. Lewis should have had the higher tech stuff, and he looked more like Lewis in that canoe.
But Burt laughed about my choice. Because we were very competitive always. And as soon as I made the choice, he was chuckling to himself knowing I'd be fortunate not to sink. Many years later he gave me the present of a small replica of that canoe, which I have on my mantelpiece, and it says 'Voight's Choice.'
Ronny Cox: I saw in John Boorman's commentary on the DVD that in the course of making the film, Jon and I wrecked five canoes. That scene at the end of the picture where they find that half a canoe, they [the crew] didn't have to do that, we did that for them. Burt and Ned would run a set of rapids, if they had the slightest inkling of trouble, then the crew would make big bets that the two of us would wreck. You could make a lot of money betting on us wrecking.
If you are interested in seeing the two canoes in the flesh, they are currently on display at the Burt Reynolds Museum located in Jupiter, Florida.
Film capture credits: mickeyandava.blogspot.ca
I don’t care what camping traditionalists or lightweight campers have to say; I feel that Coleman’s new propane powered camping oven is one of the greatest inventions in the last 10 minutes.