I just spent the last 10 days on a road trip visiting northern Ontario Provincial Parks (Marten River, Kettle Lakes, White Lake, Sleeping Giant, Neys, Lake Superior and Mississagi). I’ll have a blog up next week on this incredible journey.
In the meantime, here’s some gear I used while campground camping, rather than my regular pitching a tent in the interior. A bad back injury from a previous solo canoe trip had me car camping instead, so I packed some luxury items as well.
Jet Boil Genesis Stove System
Forget about your good old Coleman double burner. The new Genesis Stove beats it hands down. The system is made up of an incredibly convenient nesting two burner stove that stores inside a large pot, with a 10-inch ceramic coated fry pan on top. It also comes with a side burner that can quickly boil water for morning coffee. The storage bag is awesome as well.
Eureka Midori 3
Eureka sent me a 2021 Midori 3 tent to test out. It rained about 80 per cent of the trip—and I remained dry and cozy throughout. This Eureka design is one of its best. Lots of head room, lightweight and well-vented. I really like the added ridge pole which creates more volume. There’s a storage pocket on each side of the door, a gear loft and a full V3 front vestibule. And the colours chosen for 2021 sure beats this year.
Cook Custom Sewing Tarp
Dan Cooke’s Custom Sewing new ridge tarp is a game changer. It’s silicone-coated rather than the common urethane coated nylon, making it extremely, strong, flexible and light. Poor weather had me pitching it every night and it withstood some crazy wind and rain along the north shore of Lake Superior. The silicone coating does not wet out like urethane coated nylons. It also has loops (not grommets) every 20 to 24 inches around the edges and around along the internal seams. The seams are hand sewn with nylon thread, single needle lock-stitched with double stitched lapped seams. The custom-made four-coloured panels (red, blue, yellow and white) got a few looks from other campers—but I love originality.
Council Tool Wood-Craft 24”
Ontario Provincial Park’s firewood really sucks! It's wet, moldy and hard to split. I packed two axes to help with the wood splitting: my well-aged small Gransfors Bruks Forest axe and my new Council Tool Wood-Craft Pack Axe with a 24-inch handle. The Forest Axe is my preference for the interior, but the longer Council Tool was a real asset at the campground. It’s a unique axe. The two-pound head is flat ground, which is a grind usually used for knives but can be used on this axe edge due to the strength of the 5160 knife steel that Council uses. It also has phantom bevels which makes it easier to get back out of wood after driving it in. The pool of the axe is hardened so you can use it to pound on your trailer hitch, iron stakes, nails or other metal implements.
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