Camping Season is back ! This year I reserved our camping spot at Oka National Park months in advance to make sure we get a spot we like. A few weeks before it’s time to leave, I realize I still don’t have a car to get there. It hardly seems worth renting a car for a full week, just to drive it TO camping and then back, so instead I bought a cheap car ! Strangely enough, one of the most exciting parts of this is the fact that I finally get to use my HAM RADIO Licence Plates that I received almost a year ago but never got to put on a car !! So YAY, my first Ham Radio ID’d car. (I should point out that here in Quebec, ONLY ham radio operators get customized licence plates with their call sign. Everyone else simply gets what they get.
- 1 – DIY Solar Power installation
- 2 – Solar Power Basics
- 3 – Calculating your Power Consumption
- 4 – Figuring out how many Solar Panels you need
- 5 – Solar Lighting
- 6 – Installing your Tarp for Camping
- 7 – Keyboard Hack for MAME console or PC interface
- Your internet and cable provider – The honest version
- VOiP PHones and Equipment in Canada
- Fixing a Broken (bricked) seagate Barracuda 7200.11 Hard Drive
- My first Remote Controlled Airplane
- How to make a wind turbine
- Hilarious XKCD comic
- Filed under: Camping
- Date: Oct 1,2008
Charcloth is an age old technique that is used to start fire. If you have charcloth with you, it will always make starting a fire in a survival situation much easier. It will easily hold the spark that’s created using a piece of flint, a lighter that has no more fluid, or even using the bow method or hand drill method to start a fire. (Basically rubbing sticks together to create an amber, which you will deposit on the char cloth after)
This video (my very first btw) shows how to make char cloth, and how to use it to start a fire with flint.
Yesterday we discussed tents and hammocks that are your typical “shelters” for camping. Today I will be talking about the different kinds of sleeping bags, mats, and air mattresses.
The Sleeping Bag :
This can be essential to your survival. Some of the hottest places on earth get VERY cold at night and it’s next to impossible to sleep while you’re freezing. There are 2 basic types of sleeping bags, and 2 common types of filling with for these.
The Rectangular Sleeping bag :
The name pretty much says it all. It’s a rectangular shaped sleeping bag that most people are used to seeing. These sleeping bags are nice and roomy compared to the other kinds. You can get 2 person sleeping bags as well so that you don’t need to be seperated from your loved one. Click here for an inexpensive -5 degree Fahrenheit rectangular sleeping bag.
The Mummy bag (Cocoon bag) :
This sleeping bag gets narrower as it goes down toward your feet in order to keep in more warmth and to take less space and weight. I have a mummy bag, but I move around at night and this bag makes in very hard and slightly uncomfortable if I need to toss and turn. (I’ve had this bag for many years and I think it’s too small which makes it worse) It keeps me warm though, there’s no doubt about that !
Down Filled bags :
Down is the wispy, fluffy undercoating found just beneath the outer feathers of geese and ducks. This natural fiber is an extraordinary insulator. It provides outstanding insulation for very little weight and can last for decades. They are also easier to compress to save valuable space. Down Filled bags are generally the best, UNLESS it gets wet. In which case you will probably never be able to get it dried until you’re back to civilization.
I love camping. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature and to let go of some “city stress”. When I go camping with my girlfriend, we really pack the car full of stuff that makes camping more cozy. In this series of posts, I will cover the most important things that you should bring, as well as a few luxury items. I will also put a link for each item to some Amazon products that I’ve been researching. I’m aiming to get the best quality product to price ratio. (Click on the images to get more details on the specific product) Amazon has surprisingly good prices for camping and survival gear. We’re going to start with one of the most basic and important parts. SHELTER.
Tent Camping Shelter :
Most people bring tents. Usually tents are classified as being 3 season tents or 4 season tents. Most are 3 season tents. This is what you want unless you’re planning on doing lots of winter camping. If keeping warm is a priority, you want your tent to be as small as possible. The tent on the right is an 8 person tent made by coleman and is perfect for a camping trip with the kids. You can put up seperator walls (to make it a 3 room tent) and it’s a steal at under $90 !! (Click on the tent for details) I would not recommend this tent however if you need to walk long distances with it. For a hikers tent, check out this Kelty brand 2 person tent! Kelty is usually the backpackers choice!
Some factors to consider when buying a tent :
The weight of the tent. (Will you be driving to your camping site, or will you need to carry the tent around for a while?)
How many people will be sleeping in it ? (If a tent says it’s for 4 people, it usually means it’ll fit 2 people comfortably and you will probably regret it if you actually try and sleep 4 in it. If you’re a couple that’s sleeping together, you could probably get away with a 2 person tent but won’t have much storage room left) With that being said, the smaller the tent is, the easier it will be to keep warm.
Hammock Camping :
Another popular camping and hiking shelter is a hammock. Hammock’s are light weight, pack up very small, and can be put up anywhere that has some tree’s so you don’t need to find even ground. (Great for in the mountains) Lots of people say that sleeping in a hammock is GREAT for the back because there are no pressure points. My only concern with hammock camping is the cold air from the bottom when it’s frigid outside. However, you can always combat that with a simple camping mat between you and the hammock. The hammock pictured on the right is a Hennesey Hammock. The ultimate campers / backpackers hammock. (Click image to purchase or for details) It comes complete with netting to keep bugs out and a roof tarp to keep you dry. I have never read any bad things about this hammock, and I WANT ONE ! This hammock may seem expensive, (About $170) but it’s worth every penny !
For a MUCH cheaper hammock that is suitable for camping / hiking that’s under $30, click here ! It’s no hennesey, there’s no bug net or roof tarp, but you can add that yourself ; can’t you?
This is the end of the Shelter section of my necessary camping equipment series. Stay tuned at TechieNATION tomorrow for PART 2 which will cover sleeping bags, mats, and air mattresses that will accompany your shelter.
Starting a fire and keeping it going is something that lots of people take for granted. However, it is a very useful thing to be able to have when you need it . You can use it to cook food, to keep you warm, to scare off animals, to give you light, and to bring up your spirits. This article is about the very basics of building a fire, and will link to more advanced methods such as using a magnesium flint tool and making charcloth to help start a fire with only a single spark !
Step 1 :
Pick the spot where you will build your fire. Keep it away from branches and any flammable objects. Using rocks atleast 4 inches in diameter make a circle that will hold in the fire. (The size of the circle depends on the size of the fire you plan on making) This will contain your fire and help stop HOT ambers and coals from blowing into the forest when there is a strong wind. It will also make a visible line of where NOT to walk.
Step 2 :
Tinder : This can be shredded paper, wood shavings, birch bark, or anything else that catches on fire easily.The tinder is used to light the kindling.
Kindling : Small, dry branches, no more than 1.5 inches thick. (it’s nice to have an assortment that goes from tiny twigs to 1.5 inch thich pieces of wood. Once you’ve burned enough kindling you will have enough heat and ambers to light bigger logs.
Logs : Big pieces of wood. Once the fire is going and has a small bed of ambers at the bottom, you can start putting in logs and stop putting in kindling. Logs will only light if there is enough direct heat and flames on it, however they will burn for a LONG time compared to the tinder or kindling. If you’ve neglected your fire and it’s almost out, chances are you will need to build it up again with some kindling before adding more logs. Logs are often hard to get if you’re out in the forest and don’t have an Axe or saw.
Misc : Keeping a fire going takes LOTS of wood. Gather the wood you think you will need for the night, then double it.
Step 3 :
So you now have a fire pit, and wood for the fire. It’s time to get it ready to be lit.
I like to use the “teepee” style of fire.
Basically, you put your tinder in the middle of the fire pit.
Then you put some kindling all around the tinder in the form of a tee-pee. (Or a cone if you prefer) all around it except for one side that you want to keep open so that you can easily light the tinder.
If you have enough tinder and kindling, you can even go as far as adding a couple of logs on top of your tee-pee (or cone) which should light once the flames and heat are strong enough. (However I like to add the logs after) It’s important when building your tee-pee fire that there is proper air ventilation right to the middle of the teepee where the tinder is. Fire needs air, and will not stay lit otherwise, so don’t go nuts when placing your kindling and logs and make sure you’re letting air through.
Step 4 :
It’s time to light it !
Hopefully you have some waterproof matches or a lighter. If so, simply light the tinder and the fire should get going ! Add wood as needed.
If you don’t have matches or a lighter, lets hope you’ve read these articles : (And that I’ve finished writing them) :
Starting a fire with Magnesium and Flint (Click here to BUY a magnesium flint block for under $10)
Using charcloth and flint to start a fire
Start a fire using the old fashioned bow method. (Rubbing sticks together, basically)
Stay tuned for more, and feel free to send requests in the comments section of this post !
When booking a camping lot at Oka, there are lots of different sections to choose from. Unfortunately, they aren’t all as good as the other. I got lucky in getting lots that we were VERY happy with, so we decided to walk around and rate the different camping lots so that the next time we book a camping outting, we know the lots we want and more importantly the camping lots we DON’T WANT. As always, I share my knowledge with all of you so that you can get a GREAT camping lot and have a wonderful time.
We rated the lots on a scale of 1 to 10, and sometimes put comments. In general however, for tent camping, I recommend THE DUNES section. It’s best to try and get lots that are in the corners, and along the OUTSIDE of the camping section. Not in the middle because this means having more neighbors. (Not always though - there were a few GORGEOUS lots in the middle sections)
- Lot # 160 – 8/10 – We’ve used this lot and loved it. About 5 minute walk to the beach, and lots of privacy. Read the rest of this entry »
- Filed under: Camping
- Date: May 20,2008
For those of you who are blocked from seeing youtube video’s, the usual photo album will be up soon. In the meantime, here’s my Video Slideshow of tent camping at Oka National Park. Might be useful for those of you trying to decide if Oka is a good choice for you. Search the site and you will see I have reviews for Oka park and there are LOTS more to come. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section if you want advise about Oka Park Camping.
I spent the last 4 days camping in Oka National Park. Once again the camping was incredible, and we beat all odds to get good weather.
Since I’ve only been back a few hours, I will not be writing anything big about this, but I can let you know about the future blogs that will be following :
- Oka National Park Camping Lot Overview / ratings (Marina and I rated all the lots around us, to give you a good idea of what lot to pick when booking your camping at Oka)
- Oka National Park Camping trip May 2008 Picture Album
- Oka Camping Video Slideshow
- Making good coffee while camping with no power using your regular coffee machine
These posts will be added in the days that follows. Stay tuned !
Tomorrow my girlfriend Marina and I are going tent camping in Oka for a few days. It’s mid-May and the mornings and nights still get cold, so it means we’re bringing LOTS of warm blankets and sleeping bags. There’s also pretty high chances that it will be raining for 2 out of the 4 days we’ll be there, so this involves some extra planning. When you’re properly equipped, camping in the rain can be VERY fun. It’s wonderful to spend all this time outside, while it’s raining, being close to nature and all the things that come out in the rain. It’s wonderful as long as you’re not getting soaked, cold, or bored that is ; but those are all things we can prepare for!
Things to bring and DO when camping in the rain :
- TARPS are your friends when you go camping and are expecting rain. I bring 1 ground tarp, 1 HUGE tarp that goes above the tent and into the cooking area. (So it makes us a roof outside the tent) I’ve also got 1 more emergency tarp that will be used to make a single side-wall on the outside of the tent to prevent horizontal rain from soaking us if it’s really raining hard. (I use rope thrown up into high branches to pull up my tarp)
- Bring lots of Games ! I always suggest bringing games when camping, but when you’re expecting rain, pack a few more in there. You never know how long you’ll be in the tent or under your shelter watching and listening to the rain fall, and it’s always nice to have things to do. Bring whatever games you and your camping companions like to play. I’m bringing a deck of cards, scrabble, Blokus, Guesswho, and Connect 4. Read the rest of this entry »
- Filed under: Camping
- Date: Apr 25,2008
I haven’t been to many camp grounds, but Oka National Park is one of my favorites because it’s not too far from montreal (about 30-40 minute drive), it has a long Beach (which is rare), and is literally in the middle of a huge forest that has nice bike paths, wildlife, and views.
There are a few things that should be mentioned however :
- SatFap: Ham sats frequencies : https://sites.google.com/site/satfap/ 73 from
- sky: Hi ive got a
- haile tezare: I have a project to
- gas leaf blower: Hurrah! Αfter all I got
- Rainbow vacuum: Hey ѵery nice blog!
- Reagan: Cool blog! Is your theme
- airsoft helmets: Hi colleаgues, its fantastic paragraph
- remote control helicopter deals: The lights are located on
- echo chainsaw: Whаt's Taking place i am
- features: I visit day-to-day a few