Wow. It’s been too long since the last update. Winter has begun up in Thunder Bay, and as such I’ve been feeling a little bit rest-full as of late. I ask for your grace dear reader when I inevitably miss an entry or two.
Sometime in either late December or early January (depending largely on weather and on my post-Christmas-dinner coma) I’ll be heading onto a one acre field on Russet House Farm and laying down a wooden floor. Upon this floor, I will be erecting a wall or prospector style tent, which will form my accommodation for all of 2014.
I should at this point give the kudos (or possibly the blame) for this idea to Nick Cotter and Brad Farrish, two good friends of mine who proved that it could be done when they pulled it off over a winter semester a few years back. When I was considering this possibile living scenario, both were invaluable for encouragement and advice, and I probably saved myself a fair bit of trouble by listening to them.
The tent is large. 14 feet by 16 feet large. I really struggled with what size of tent to get. The major disadvantage of a tent of this size is that I’ll never be able to use it for backcountry winter camping, at least not without a snow machine and trailer with which to pull it. It is just too heavy for a toboggan. The big upside for me is that it is so big that it will be extremely livable. I can even put a full sized mattress in it (somethings that I’m definitely planning on doing). I decided that, for my immediate purposes, it was best to go with something that will give me room to move about, that enabled me to have guests over in relative comfort, and that was large enough to help me avoid feelings of claustrophobia.
My tent was made by Capital Canvas, a company based out of Victoria, British Columbia. Other than some issues with shipping which have since been resolved, I have been really impressed with the quality, service and price ($1400 for the tent, poles, an extra tarp AND shipping… considering how heavy the tent and poles are, the shipping could not have been cheap).
I picked up the stove this past weekend when I attended the North House Folk School’s Winterers’ Gathering (more on this soon!). The stove was made by Don Kevilus of Four Dog Stoves. I’ve had the privilege of meeting him several times over the last few years and I have a lot of respect for him and his craft. The stove is the biggest one he makes, something that will be very helpful keeping me warm throughout the winter and includes a four gallon water jacket which fits on the side so that I’ll always have hot water on hand (more than enough for a cup of tea and some washing water).
I was really hoping to post a picture, but the tent is currently drying in my basement and I was too tired to set it up. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pictures in the new year. I have also decided to begin a new series next year, highlighting the more technical aspects of some of my equipment, where I’ll also share some very exciting news about a great partnership that I’m in the process of finalizing.
Next week, I’m going to be beginning a couple other series, and will also be reminiscing fondly on this year’s Winterers’ Gathering. That’s right… possibly THREE posts! (Though when I say that… I’ll probably cut it down to two.)
I hope you are all able to enjoy the snowy weather this week, that is if you’re living in a place that has snow. If not I will gladly enjoy the weather for you.