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Gone camping

Oh hai. I got a few of my necklaces up on chains. The prairie scene didn’t work out so well because I punched the holes too low and the thing just flips upside down if it moves away from your chest at all.

The Otter though, it worked out well.

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And then the one I worked on yesterday…oh man. This was my first attempt at sweat soldering with my new torch and it was. Not. Good. None of the solder would flow and I fired flame at that thing for about a half hour. Finally I got Sean to take a look and give me some of his soldering insight and it turns out I had dirtied the pieces up too much for the solder to stick.

We cleaned them a bit and the pieces joined and voila! A camping badge! Sawn from brass and hung on brass chain.

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Ready for the (hopefully) fun part? The tent is surely stuck on the backplate, but there are two spots at the base of the triangle where the solder didn’t flow completely. So while you may not be able to tell that the pieces aren’t fused as fully at the bottom as they are at the top, I can. And I feel weird selling it when it’s not 100% what I wanted it to be (note that this does not mean it’s defective and ready to fall apart – it’s solid). So I’m giving it away!

Leave a note in the comments and tell me what/where/why your fave provincial or national park is. That should be a nice thing to think about if it’s sleeting where you are the way it is where I am. You have until Saturday night. On Sunday morning, I’ll draw names from those who’ve spoken up and the winner gets the necklace. Deal?

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This Post Brought to You by Camping!

Did you know I’m obsessed with old trailers and campers? It goes without saying that I’m not the only one – especially after reading My Cool Caravan, which I picked up from Mixed Media as a gift for Sean.

Besides being full of fantastic photos of much-loved campmobiles, the book profiles 40 different trailers – their stories, their owners, their renovations and refurbishings.

I want this one like craaaaazyyyyy but will settle for the hard-sided yellow Boler I saw in an undisclosed location on an unnamed highway yesterday.

If you have $4000 for me, I have an invitation to go camping in it for you!

We can go to one of the parks featured in this vintage National Parks guide Hollie and Jane gave me…

Chill with this guy…

Swim in this guy…

And talk about how crappy this post is because Gimp keeps crashing on me and I have no more patience for photo-editing!



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Get Campy

Well, look what arrived in the mail today!

The book I spent most of the fall and winter working on. In case you forgot, because I stopped talking about it for ten minutes, I wrote part of the Yukon and all of the southern Ontario sections of this guide.

And what’s that? An ISBN? Phew! Just in time. You’ll be able to find my name in bookstores and libraries before I’m 30.

Amazing! I know I might be biassed because I worked on it, but I don’t think so. 

It’s everything you’d expect from National Geographic. The book is beautiful. The pictures are incredible. The park profiles are fantastic.

I’m so proud to have been part of it, my hoser heart is swelling to the size of an extra-large poutine drizzled with maple syrup and served by a beaver on ice skates.


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Feature Presentation

Coincidence that on the same night I was busy planning a summer cycling trip (from Amsterdam to Jena, or Hamilton to Thunder Bay?), my randonee straps were featured on Etsy’s front page:

Along with a ton of other amazing bike-centric goods. I especially love the Bike Signal Shirt from Eloi Collective and the Porter Crate from One More Bike. Those cup holders are perfect. I was riding around town spilling tea all over myself not 24 hours ago.

And hey! If you want to get a jump on your summer camping this season, you can pre-order National Geographic’s Guide to the National Parks of Canada here.

I spent most of the fall and winter working on the profiles of southern Ontario and Yukon parks.

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Spring Fever

An article I wrote this fall will appear in the April issue of Canadian Geographic.

In honour of 2011 marking the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada, the entire issue is devoted to Canadian Parks. Do you have goosebumps? I dooooooo!

Watch this and you will too…


I should mention that much (all? I think so) of this footage was taped by a collection of student videographers who scored the ultimate summer job – exploring the parks and gathering footage. I met one of them up in Ivvavik this summer and it seemed a dream – he got to kayak and raft and record for two months.

I don’t know what your story is and I don’t know with what frequency Parks Canada will be taking on student videographers (this may have been a one-time thing), but if it sounds like something you’d be into – you should keep an eye on their website for possible opportunities.

And if something works out for you? You should take me along because you will owe me!

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