Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mosquito-less Tour

With the recent rains in our area, I have to wonder if the "Mosquito-Less Tour" will actually be mosquito-less? Our campsites were chosen because they have a creek running behind them. Admittedly, they were chosen in very early spring when the creek was just a trickle. On the weekend, I rode over to the camp and discovered that the creek is quite a lot wider and deeper than my last visit.
The creek is behind the bushes
I'm worried for my friend and long-time cycling partner Roy. He grew up in Manitoba and absolutely hates mosquitos! However, I saw a posting on Face Book that included a sure-fire recipe to discourage the pests. The recipe calls for green mouthwash, Epsom salts and some stale beer. Supposedly by spraying this liquid around your outdoor space will eliminate the biting bug. Plus the area will smell of mint.
I don't believe it!

Monday, May 9, 2016


Whole new area to explore
Have you heard of dirtbagging? I always thought that a dirtbag was some slimy character but apparently it is a whole genre of bicycle camping. The idea being that bikepacking is not about the gear but about the experience and a recent issue of Adventure Cycling magazine contained an article promoting this new-to-me genre.

I have been interested in saving weight on my trips and this winter my wife and I sewed a Ray Jardine tarp that will offer shelter at a fraction of the cost of a tent and a fraction of the weight. The warm weather this weekend offered an opportunity to set up the tarp and get a good look at it.
First attempt at setting up
The article mentioned Tyvek as an outdoor material and I like the idea of making equipment from it. The easiest item would be a Tyvek groundsheet and maybe this winter we will sew frame bags from the material. If it is good enough to wrap your house in, then it must be good enough in the wilds.

Hot enough to melt a coin
Penny stoves were featured in the article and it took me only minutes to fashion my own from two beer cans and a jar lid. The thing is light as air and the alcohol fuel burned hot enough to melt the coin that covers the filling holes.

One of the authors of the article wrote about using an automobile sunshade as a sleeping mat - extolling its cheapness and light weight. Mine only cost a buck at a discount store but I worry that it may not be very comfortable.

I would like to try out dirtbagging. I could use my fifteen dollar winter bike, my eighty dollar tarp, the one dollar sleeping pad and the stove which cost nothing to make. By choosing my campsite carefully, I bet I could have a swell time at little expense.