Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Creature Comforts - Part Two

The shore ice starts building and the flow ice grinds it's way down river. Early on Sunday morning we awoke to the sounds of ice scaring the shoreline as it moved it's way down stream. An erie moan; natures way of telling you, get off the river.

On our paddle to Portland we saw scaring 5' up from the present river level. 2 weeks previous to our paddle it had rained heavily and the Grand River was at flood level tearing down trees and sweeping away park benches. When confronted with fast moving ice, get out of the way.

Now this is country living. An Empire Canvas tent, large enough to stand up in and hang a drying line. The stick holding up the stove pipe is extra precaution for when the wind picks up.
Set up is pretty simple. Interior frame work (aluminium) clicks together, then the canvas goes over the top. raise the poles, pile snow on the skirt, set the stove... lay out the canvas ground cloth; you're good to go!

A nuclear reactor not, but this 3 dog titanium wood burning stove was the focus of many a conversation. It easily kept the interior above 50 degrees at ground level and I'd guess in the 70's at the peak. The key is keeping your sleeping platform higher then the stove, staying in the warmth zone.
Another important thing to remember is to seal the bottom of the tent from wind blowing in. This is done by piling snow on a nylon skirt that is sewn in like a shirt tail. You just pile snow on it and it gives you a great seal.
"Give me a tent and kettle, snowshoes, axe, and gun, head up into Grand River, steering by star and sun". - Elliot Merrick.

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