Mail Call – Winter Camping Glove Strategy, Camp Saw Options & Astro Photography

Topical discussion on various Backpacking, Camping, Hiking & Travel topics.

Topics Discussed / Links to Items Seen on this Episode

  • Hiking the Florida Trail?
  • White Water Rafting Trips?
  • My previous canoe camping trip experience.
  • Some fresh threads from Lucid Skis up in Maine
  • Thoughts on winter gloves for camping and backpacking trips.
  • Sealskinz Ultra Grip water proof gloves
  • Camera that Sara used for the northern lights pics in our recent Iceland video.
  • Panasonic GM1 Camera (no longer in production, I scored Sara’s on Ebay)
  • Venus Laowa 7.5mm F2.0 ultra wide angle lens.
  • Mittens / Overmits for camping.
  • Discussion on camping saws for backpacking trips.
  • Canadian Shield Pocket Chainsaw recommended by viewer
  • Coleman Folding Saw
  • Finding Flight Deals
  • How we came about going to Iceland (twice)
  • A huge thank you to Dwayne for the Xmas gift box.
  • How to make easy and amazing trail pizza, with packable ingredients.
  • MSR Flex Skillet for ultralight backpacking camp cooking.
  • There’s noting like a post-hike burger.
  • I need to do a solo winter backpacking trip somewhere within drving distance of the Mid-Atlantic. Any suggestions?

Tips & Gear for aking your Dog Backpacking Hiking & Camping

Tips, Gear & our Experiences with getting a puppy / Dog into Backpacking, Hiking & Camping.

Topics Discussed

  • Dog training for trips, daily walks as a puppy etc.
  • Age to start hiking with a dog?
  • Trip planning and strategies your dog’s first backpacking trip.
  • Differences in trail selection, water sources, etc.
  • Hiking dog food – nutrition, packing options, need for increased consumption.
  • Usage of dog backpacks for hiking.
  • Sleeping arrangements, leashes and leads for around camp and on the trail.
  • Some discussion on each of our dog’s camping trips so far.
  • Items that we bring for our dog camping trips (see below)

Dog Backpacking Gear / Items Seen

Iceland with a Camper Van- Ring Road in 66 Hours

Join us as we Explore Iceland via the famed Ring Road with a 4×4 Camper Van in Winter Conditions on a quest for Northern Lights.

Time of Year: Mid November
Aurora Borealis season in Iceland is roughly September through the end of April.

Camper Van Info

  • Rented from: GO Iceland Rentals
  • Make and Model: VW California 4×4 Automatic
  • Trim Level: “Beach” (seats 5, sleeps 4)
  • Engine: Diesel , 44.8 mpg
  • Auxiliary Heater system for night time heat.
  • Came with: Wifi hot spot, cookware, utensils, flatware, two types of camp stoves, potable water container, 4 sleeping bags, table.

Notable Locations Shown Day 1 (and night before)

  • Arrival at Keflavik International Airport.
  • Northern Lights sighting outside of Reykjavik.
  • Our favorite Icelandic meal – gas station hot dogs.
  • Goðafoss waterfall
  • Grocery shopping at a small grocery store in northern Iceland.
  • Mývatn lake and wetlands region.
  • Mývatn Nature Baths (hot springs)
  • Hverir Geothermal Area (bubbling mud and steam vents)
  • Dettifoss waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park
  • Northern Lights sighting near the town of Vik on Iceland’s eastern coast.

Notable Locations Shown Day 2

  • Diamond Beach / Jökulsárlón Beach
  • Random, unnamed (from what we could tell) waterfall that we spotted from the road.
  • Hiking in the Skaftafell wilderness area, within Vatnajökull National Park.
  • Svartifoss waterfall.
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon (or as Sara and Ashley call it, “Sweet-ass Mossy Canyon”)
  • Lasagna at Primo Ristorante
  • Downtown Reykjavik and Laugavegur street.
  • Lebowski Bar for a beer and the notorius Coco-puff cocktail.

Notable Locations Shown Day 3

  • Blue Lagoon Hot Spring
  • Some final hot dogs at a cool little hot dog and ice cream stand called Skýlið on the way back to Keflavik airport. It kind reminded me of a Dairy Queen back in the states.

It should be pointed out that this is certainly not the ideal way to do a Iceland Ring Road trip, or to see Iceland in general.  But life is unpredictable, and this is the experience we had.  This video should not be seen as an endorsement of trying to see such a vast and unique place in such a short time-frame.

Beyond the obvious sightseeing reasons for avoiding such a tight schedule, there is the even more important factor of SAFETY.  The wrong combination of unfortunate weather, the wrong vehicle choice, and a simple mistake could make for a very uncomfortable or unsafe situation.  Weather in Iceland can change on a dime, and winter conditions can make those changes even more extreme.  In our case we had the right combination of events occur to allow us to safely complete our Ring Road experience.  However, things could have gone completely differently.  We were willing to keep an open mind and had several contingency plans.

There is a very real chance on a schedule this tight that you could end up missing your return flight home.  While that would be terrible, it is a far better alternative than taking unacceptable risks and getting yourself or others hurt.  Please be safe and realistic when planning your own adventures!

Handy Links and Resources for those planning their own Iceland camper van adventure

Snow Shovels for Winter Camping & Backpacking

Thoughts on Snow Shovels for Winter Camping & Winter Backpacking Trips.

Items Seen / Discussed in this Video

I’m not sure if they make the actual Camp brand snow shovel seen in this video anymore. That’s why I linked the other brand above which looks similar and appears to have solid reviews.  But I did find a new plastic version by Camp that weighs in at only 9 oz. I’m sure it’s not nearly as resilient though, as the blade is made of polypropylene, as opposed to a coated aluminum.

 

Mail Call – Viewer Comments, Iceland, & 2017 Deer Camp Vid on the Whiterook85 Channel

Discussion of various Hiking, Camping & Backpacking tips / topics. I guess it’s kind of like a low budget Backpacking Podcast using viewer mail and comments to pick the talking points. Or something like that.

Topics Discussed on this Episode

  • Where I’ve been the last few weeks.
  • 2017 Deer Camp Cabin Video out now on my dad’s channel, Whiterook85
  • Our recent trip to Iceland with a camper van.
  • Incorporating viewer comments into Mail Call episodes.
  • Carol gives us some life advice.
  • Various playlists available on the Sintax77 channel homepage.
  • People want to see cheeseburgers.
  • Two Bobs on YouTube
  • EDC Knives?
  • Thoughts on Hiking Poles / Trekking Poles for backpacking and hiking.
  • Hiking Poles for 3-Season vs Winter / Snowshoeing Trips
  • Water containers for backpacking water filters.
  • New Sawyer Micro Water Filter that came with my Saywer S3 Water Filter.
  • Gravity water filters vs smaller personal use filters.
  • Michael L. loves the sound of my voice.
  • Proper use of carabiners, Dutch Clips, etc when setting up hammock suspension straps.
  • Subs vs Hoagies?
  • Bringing “real food” on backpacking trips for your first meal or two.
  • Winter Ultralight Backpacking?
  • Gear List Videos
  • Finding Trail Maps
  • Some viewers think I quit making hiking / backpacking vids? (nope)
  • Using the “Subscription Bell” to get notifications for my new vids.
  • Winter Survival Topic – Beer Strategy
  • Never wear a Pittsburgh hat in Philly
  • 2 liter bag options for Katadyn BeFree (HydraPak 2 & 3 liter wide mouth bags)
  • Snowshoeing and courtesy to cross country skiers.
  • Dealing with “mono-rails” on winter snow hikes.
  • Doing a winter summit in 80mph winds (my High Winds Hiking Video)


Items Seen in the Video

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