15 August 2014

Folbot the North Thompson River


Page 81 Canoe Routes BC
 Paddling the North Thompson River, from the boat launch at Ferry Road, Blackpool, BC (near Clearwater, BC) to our eventual take-out at the boat launch on MacArthur Island, North Kamloops, BC. About 122 km's, give or take a few km's. 

This has been a long time in coming. A trip I have planned many times in my mind, since my childhood. First started getting serious in 2011, when my son and I first wanted to do this trip. High water that year postponed that trip. 2012, we were busy with our cross-Canada trip and were unable to squeeze in a river trip. 2013, we had a bit of extra water in the Southern Alberta area and did not make a BC trip. 2014, time off - check. Travel to BC - check. Weather - check. Folbot - check. Gear - check. Camera - check. We are GTG, good-to-go!!!
Page 82 of Canoe Routes BC

Folbot Super 2-man Kayak (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
 Put-in set for Monday 11 August 2014 at 0900.
Campsite Near Barriere River (Photo by Andrew McMillan)

Moonrise Over Paddles (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
 With minimal fanfare, we put our Folbot Super 2-man Kayak in the North Thompson River. (Yeah, no seam leaks.) Eric Thome, from Folbot helped me identify the model a couple years back. (Eric, Thanks again.)
Exploring a Sandbar Near McLure, BC (Photo by Andrew McMillan)

Folbot Kayak (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
I have also had a copy of the Wright's Canoe Route British Columbia in my library for years. Finally, I get to put that info to use.

Unlike, many route guides these days - this guide book does take-away the adventure and exploration experience. This guide book gives you the information you need to know, identifies hazard areas, recommends good river navigating behaviours and then leaves you and your crew to discover the river.

As we planned to use a kayak, we were not particularly concerned about the splash effect of the rapids. We were looking forward to the fast water.




Here is a picture of our mighty vessel. The Folbot Super, 16' 10" in length and about 34" in beam. Tipping the scales around 86lbs dry, it is a serious contender.

For those not familiar with Folbot or other "folding kayaks", let me digress for a moment. When not in use, my kayak can be taken apart and stored in two duffle bags. It has a wood and aluminum frame that is pressure/tension fitted into a vinyl skin. Much like the traditional Inuit kayaks that have seal skins on a wood frame.


The trip from Clearwater/Blackpool to Little Fort, was uneventful. The water had a good current and we encountered few obstacles. We stayed far enough offshore to avoid all the sweepers. For those new to river paddling the Clearwater to Little Fort stretch is a great afternoon or morning trip. 

We made good progress until we were near Darfield, then the river slowed right down until we went under the bridge into Barriere. A few more hazards, like deadheads and complete trees stuck in the middle of the channels, but most were large enough to navigate around with good warning. We did avoid a few that were hidden just under the surface.

We made camp on the sandy beach near the confluence of the Barriere River into the North Thompson. We arrived before 1745. It was a scorcher of a day, we didn't even see a cloud until the day ended. Looked like a new wildfire was starting out near Adams Lake or nearby. 

Bivy bags on the sand and a full moon overnight. With the fire ban, we did not get to enjoy a campfire. Next time.

I snapped a couple pictures in the dark. The moon over the paddles turned out pretty good.

We were on the water after a lazy morning on the beach, probably around 0830. It was not clear like the day before. We both said, I hope that is smoke in the sky. We had a 7 day forecast that showed sunny and mid to high 30's. No mention of cloud or rain.

Day two, started with some good paddling right out the gate. The rapids at the bottom of the Fish Trap Canyon, were a great joy. Good place to practice before our visit to the Heffley Rapids later in the day.

We tried to stop every couple of hours to stretch our legs and to get a snack and more photos. Even with our Therma-Rest seat cushion, I can believe saddle sores would occur if sitting in the kayak for too long.

We saw a fair amount of wildlife along, over or near the banks. Bald & Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Ducks, Canadian Geese, King Fishers, Kites, Herons, Vultures and Swallows. There was also some four legged friends: Deer and a brown bear.

Below the McLure Ferry we again entered some slow water, which end abruptly when we entered the Heffley Rapids. 

These rapids gave us some thrills and thankfully no spills. We did fall off the flow into an eddy at one point, but a quick eddy turn had us riding the rapids in short order.

Mt's Peter & Paul, Kamloops, BC. (Photo by Alex McMillan)
From about Rayleigh to the take-out at MacArthur Island, we again had some slow water and got a lot of practice paddling. So glad, we had double-bladed paddles and a kayak, instead of a canoe. Otherwise, we would have really had a workout.

Hope you like the pictures.

Until next time....Take your kids out camping and paddling. Someday, they will thank you!!

Mountainman.

6 July 2014

New From EdibleWildFood dot Com

Howdy All,

I have made a new contact. Her name is Karen. She is the author of Ediblewildfood.com. She also does educational walk and talks in the forest to help others learn which plants can be your friend and those to avoid.

As life would have it, Karen has a new release from her website:

"If you can share this link with your contacts that would be very much appreciated! Although it won’t be launched until the 15th I’m taking pre-orders at 10% off (only prior to the 15th)  http://www.ediblewildfood.com/subscription.aspx
Thanks so much!
Karen"
So, if you want to save 10% pre-order before 15 July 2014. Drop by the website link above for more details.
Cheers,
Mountainman.

29 June 2014

Bring Out Your BOV Show & Shine

05 July 2014, Langdon, Alberta (Noon - 1600)
Time to get your motors running!! Bring out your BOV (bugout vehicle) to the Southern Alberta's 1st Annual Bring Out Your BOV Show & Shine. 05 July 2014, from Noon to 1600 in Langdon, AB. Just show up at the parking lot to the I.O.O.F. Hall in Langdon, and be setup for judging by 1500. Prizes will be awarded at 1545.
There will be one copy of The G.O.O.D. Plan - Get Out Of Dodge (Deluxe Binder Edition) as well as a couple Field Manual Editions, to be won.
Catagories will be straight forward:
Extreme BOV
Family BOV
Towable/Trailer BOV
The photo below is the Deluxe Binder Edition up for grabs at the BOV Show & Shine. Do not miss your opportunity to be there.
The Deluxe Binder Edition Up For Grabs!!!
So, you can say you were there...be there!!

Some of those onsite will also have their bugout camp setup beside their BOV.

Cheers,

Mountainman.


See The GOOD Plan Blog for the pics.

25 May 2014

Inverse Relationship Between Hierarchy of Needs & Community??

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Diagram (Popular Internet Version)
Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs.....is anyone not familiar with this work?? If not, Abraham Maslow created a system of explaining human needs and wants. Basically, if the most basic physical needs for the body are not met, it is almost impossible for any higher level wants to be satisfied.

Like in the survival community, the rule of three's must be met or you die. 

Here is a link to Wikipedia for more details on Maslow's work:


I will return to Maslow is a minute. The other person I would like to ponder is Gene Roddenberry, the person who created Star Trek. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Roddenberry ) One of the ideas promoted through the many Star Trek series was the evolution of civilizations. Levels 0 through 3, if memory serves. Level zero is a most primative civilization, involved in the daily struggle for basic survival, still at war tribe vs tribe, using limited technology. Where as, a level three civilization would be very technologically advanced, mastering time and energy munipulation, working towards a common good - while still allowing for personal advancement. No longer engaging in destructive practices like war or harmful manufacturing. However, a level three civilization would appear to a level zero civilization to have "god-like" mystical powers of creation and transportation. A level three civilization would be the apex of what is possible to/by physical beings in the third dimension. 

Has anyone else noticed that we, the peoples of Earth, have attained a very high level of technological advancement?? We can make electricity by splitting atoms. We can go to space. We can transplant organs. We can visit places under the seas. We can fly to work. We can buy breakfast without leaving our vehicles. That is pretty good right??

But, the question starts to creep in....has anyone else ever done this before us?? Are we the first peoples of Earth to get this much technology working for us?? For all of our technology, we do not have a real answer. Many theories about Egyptians, those from Atlantis or even Lemuria. 

So, let us be reckless with the law of proof and explore this line of thought without rules. Let's suppose we are just another civilization that is at the cusp of the zero and type one civilization. And while all those before us have failed, for whatever reason, we have the possibility of succeeding. What is the main stumbling point for crossing over from Type Zero to a Type One civilization?? I believe it is ego. And directly related is power. 

In a type zero civilization, power rules everything. The few control the many. The few get rich and the many starve. The few hold the whips of power and the many trudge along bound by the chains of slavery. Today, it is economic slavery - car payments, credit card payments, rent or mortgage payments, and food. That is the weapon of choice around our planet. Those who control the food, control the people. But, power is a reflection of an immature ego. Me, me, me!!! To deflect progress, those in power introduce a dichotomy - us vs them. We are good and they are evil/bad. The redirection keeps the few in power and distracts to many from their hunger pangs. But for true progress, everyone needs to progress. Not just the few. 

Now let's return to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. As each level of needs is met, it allows the individual to seek to better themselves. The pursuit of personal perfection, in theory makes for better people, right?? That is what I would like to explore today. Does the pursuit of perfection, actually make better people??

Looking at the diagram above of Maslow's work, see that the physical needs need to be met - air, water, food, security, procreation, etc. There is a common theme on the lowest levels of needs, the common denominator is community. Which out a community, the individual is unlikely to survive for long. However, as you climb higher and higher, the needs/wants become more personal. During tough times, survival alone consumes much of the available resources of time, energy and focus. But as technology begins to become more widespread, more common place - in theory, there is more time, energy and focus on what do I want or need from this life.  So, with more technology we have more time to focus on the self and less time to focus on our community. Which, is where I think we are at this exact moment.

It is not so much that people are more selfish and less community minded, it is just for the first time in recorded history we finally have time for ourself. But, this is a transitional period for civilizations. Before someone's ego interrupts our collective advancement to a Type One civilization, we, the peoples of Earth, have to quickly adjust to our collective position of collective power. And quickly, recall that for each of us to advance, no one can be left behind. We need to become active in our community and ensure we all make the advance. 

As we approach this cusp, we are all enjoying our personal advancement but we must be aware that some will lose their power, their riches, their elite status. These few, will do anything to maintain the status quo or worse...they may instigate a planet wide conflict that will set back all of our progress and technology to an era that the caveman would recognize.

It is now, that we must bond together and build stronger communities and a stronger we, the peoples of Earth. The time for currency and wealth and false economies, are soon to be behind us. If we, the peoples of Earth, were to work together to build a better world, as healthier world, we will all be rich. Not a shallow material wealth. But a richness of common purpose and working towards making everyone a part of success. When all the peoples of the Earth work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

There is a bright horizan out there,
Time to seize it!

Mountainman.

30 April 2014

High River Flood Improvements Spring 2014

SE Corner of Highwood Lake (Slough) 30 Apr 2014
Highwood Lake/Slough 04 July 2013
 Welcome back flood fans!! 

We have received some valuable information from the Town of High River, which I will get to shortly.

First, remember the pictures from last year's flood of the Highwood River?? The ones I posted showing the new lake in North-East High River.

Well I went out earlier tonight and took a shot of the field. The lake/slough is still there. The Spring rains have not begun yet.....of course, Spring may not be here yet - it is suppose to snow this weekend. But, I digress.

The body of water still occupies the fields in North-East High River. My deduction is the water table is still full. With more than 8 months to "soak" into the ground or evaporate, and neither has happened leads me to believe the water will take years to go away. Just my guess.

Now the good news!!!!

Chart from Town of High River Emergency Preparedness Package to Residents 29 Apr 2014
The Mayor  and the rest of the team at The Town of High River have sent out an emergency preparedness package to every home in town. Great initiative Mayor Craig!! 

One piece of information in that package was the chart displayed above. The historic river flow of the Highwood River. With information like that you could make my flood warning index work very well. The river volume during the very bad flood of 1995 was 923 cubic meters per second. Now checkout 2013....1750 cubic meters per second, almost twice as much water as the worst flood recorded in living memory. I guess we are lucky we did not suffer more damage. Thanks to the Mayor and team for getting this information out to the citizens of High River. 

Flood Warning Index
To return to my flood warning index with the figures we now have, I think it is safe to classify the Flood of 2013 as a Red 3 class flood. That still leaves room in case it is ever needed.

So, to plug in some numbers:

Red 1 starts at 600 cubic meters per second
Orange flood level would range from 400 - 600 cubic meters per second
Yellow flood level would range from 200 - 400 cubic meters per second
Grey flood level would range from 150 - 200 cubic meters per second

I just hope enough data was gathered from this flood so, those in charge of the next flood can make the best predictions possible and provide the citizens living downstream of the Rocky Mountains enough time to make the best decisions for their family and property.

Remember, knowing when to evacuate
Really does depend on receiving the most accurate information
In a timely fashion.

Mountainman.

14 March 2014

Chuckbox Plans - Yes, I Found Them!!

The Chuckboxes
I found the Chuckbox Plans!!! Yah!

I know a little bit juvenile, but I finally found the plans. I have promised to post them as soon as I found them. Well, earlier tonight while searching for a set of pencil crayons, I happened upon the original plans that I used to make the chuckboxes pictured to the right.

You and I both notice right away that the picture to the right and the plans do not match 100%. And for good reason. With penny-pinching embedded deep in my DNA, it was not going to happen that I would purchase any extra sheets of plywood to complete this project. LOL.

I hope these plans help some of you out there. So, you can create your own set of chuckboxes and get out camping.
Page 1 - Chuckbox Plans
 You may notice that I had planned for a few items on page 1, that have not yet materialized on the chuckboxes. Like the holder for paper towel, wax paper, tin foil or plastic wrap. And the reason is, the hinges do not allow the lids to hang pass 90 degrees. Maybe I need different hinges, other than piano hinge.

Page 2 - Chuckbox Plans

 Page 2 shows all the rough measurements I started with.


Page 3 - Chuckbox Plans
 Page 3 has the measurements of the items that HAD to fit into the chuckboxes. And the measurements of the parts of the chuckboxes. You may need to do a similar sheet of the items you need to bring with you on your camping trips. And then customize your chuckbox(es) to fit your gear.

Page 4 - Chuckbox Plans
Finally, Page 4 - the last of the rough figuring before plywood was measured, marked and cut.

I am not a carpenter, and the finishing was rough. If, I were to do it again I would:

Cut out all the pieces and give a quick sand.
Paint all pieces before assembly.
Do a finishing coat of paint after assembly.

I would still use PL-400 construction adhesive and WELDBOND glue where required. 

I would use 3/4" plywood whenever possible. Maybe, use 1" x 6" wide fence boards for the shelves or maybe not. The 1/2" plywood did work well for shelves. The tacking together with finishing nails and/or gyproc screws did work until the PL-400 cured. 

I am not sure if the plans detail it or not, but I used two runners under each chuckbox made from 1"x2" 's. Just to give each chuckbox a little space underneath.

Again, I hope this helps all of you campers and outfitters out there who want to build their own customized camping gear.

Here are the links to the other two articles I blogged earlier:

http://mtnmanblog.blogspot.ca/2012/05/chuck-box.html

http://mtnmanblog.blogspot.ca/2012/11/the-chuck-box-part-ii.html

Always make a plan and follow it.....until it is necessary to modify!
 

Mouuntainman.


9 March 2014

Four Squares To Resource Management During A Crisis

Not quite what you were expecting?? I am not surprised. Personal hygeine and waste management are not the first item most folks think about at the beginning of a crisis situation, natural disaster or even heading out camping. However, when the need arises - the full magnitude of the oversight becomes a profound life moving moment. Time, may or may not, be of the essence. For some well regulated folks, they will have a few moments to seek, locate and secure an alternative product. However, for some unlucky folks, when it is time-to-go, it is TIME-TO-GO!!!!  Stand clear.

Lightheartedness aside. This is a serious topic and a serious consideration for your planning and operational stages of any disaster management plan - personal, family or community level. It is a natural daily function of the human body to excrete biological waste. So, this must be accounted for in the resources we hold on hand. Like a reserve source of bottled water, food, clothes, light, and a method of lighting fires. We also need a source of toilet paper.

The source of toilet paper I prefer (pictured above) is: Soft & Pure Premium by Kruger Products or Scott. This product comes in 36 rolls per bag for about $22 + GST. Each roll is individually wrapped and has between 480 - 500 (10.7cm x 10.1cm) squares/sheets. 

What does this mean.....well for a family of three (2x males & 1x female), that means 36 rolls lasts just over a year. So, for planning purposes, we have one bag open for use and at least one bag in reserve. Once the bag we are using gets about half empty we replace one bag to our reserve. If we end up being housebound for any reason, we are good for at least 2 years without needing to improvise toilet paper. A year's supply does not take up much space, thus encouraging us to have a few extra rolls around the place. 

Four squares. If you want to start now to educate and convert your family's toilet paper use to a regulated, rationing mindset.......use four squares. For most bathroom visits, a nicely wrapped four square bundle of toilet paper will suffice the cleaning process. By starting with four squares you can determine how much toilet paper your family will need. 

A 500 square roll will provide 125 bathroom visits. A 480 square roll only 120. So, 36 rolls will provide between 4320 and 4500 bathroom visits, depending on the number of squares per roll.

Yes, there will be times that more than four squares will be needed. I, however, suggest getting into the habit of using less of this resource day-to-day, so when you HAVE to ration your toilet paper resources it will not be so difficult. Remember, hand washing after visits to the bathroom is always recommended. Keeping hands clean will prevent the spread of illness or disease, especially fecal-form illnesses.

So, whether you end up on the run and have to use an outhouse, chemical toilet unit or cat-scratch sanitation, always have a supply of your favourite toilet paper on hand.

Stay healthy and happy out there!

Mountainman.