Dress for Success

Here are a few quick tips to remember the properties of clothing fabrics to help you dress for the outdoors:

Remember – In a survival situation, shelter and protection from the elements is critical. Don’t forget that your clothing is your primary shelter and clothing should therefore be well thought out.

Shelters are effectively micro-climates which allow us not only to survive, but to live and settle in environments that would otherwise be quite inhospitable. Proper clothing is what allows us to leave our shelters (homes, buildings, vehicles etc.) and move around. Therefore it is essential to think of our clothing as a shelter… After all, our clothing does in fact protect us from the sun, wind, rain, snow etc…

C is for CottonCasual, Comfort, Cold when wet, Can’t Wick moisture

W is for Wool: Warm, Wicking, Works Well Wet, Won’t Stink, Works Well around a fire

F is for Fleece: Fluffy (warm), Fears Flames, Fights moisture (wicking)

P is for Polyester: Poor around fires and flames, a Pro at wicking

S is for Synthetics: Sensitive to fire and flames, Super for Specialty kit (technical clothing)

Tip: If your outdoor clothing is not particularly suitable for sitting around a camp fire, pack a light wool blanket with which you can wrap yourself up in…this will help protect your clothing against sparks.


Patagonia Capilene® 3 Midweight Baselayer Bottoms

These baselayers from Patagonia are extremely soft, wonderfully comfortable, and wick moisture quite effectively – by far the best baselayer bottoms I’ve ever tested.

In a survival situation, shelter and protection from the elements is critical. Don’t forget that your clothing is your primary shelter and clothing should therefore be well thought out.

Shelters are effectively micro-climates which allow us not only to survive, but to live and settle in environments that would otherwise be quite inhospitable. Proper clothing is what allows us to leave our shelters (homes, buildings, vehicles etc.) and move around. Therefore it is essential to think of our clothing as a shelter… After all, our clothing does in fact protect us from the sun, wind, rain, snow etc…

Cost: Around CDN $60
From Patagonia’s website:
Our most versatile synthetic baselayer keeps you dry and warm in cool to cold conditions.
Product Information
An alpine fact: Sweaty leads turn into cold belays. Designed to manage the extremes of high-output exertion in cool to cold conditions and keep you dry and warm beneath layers, Capilene® 3 Midweight is the most versatile and fastest-wicking of our performance baselayers. Brushed on the inside for warmth, it’s soft and compressible and has a jersey exterior that glides smoothly under layers. Details include a brushed-elastic waistband and a gusseted crotch with a functional fly. Made of a 5.4-oz Polartec® Power Dry® polyester double knit, with Gladiodor® odor control for the garment.


  • Stretchy, double-weave fabric wicks extremely well
  • Durable smooth jersey face slides easily beneath layers
  • Fabric is brushed for warmth, softness and compressibility; provides excellent insulation and breathability
  • Elastic waistband is brushed for next-to-skin softness
  • Gusseted crotch for unimpeded mobility
  • Functional fly
  • Machine-wash cold, tumble dry at low temperature
  • Solids: 5.4-oz Polartec® Power Dry® 100% polyester (65% recycled) double-knit. Heathers: 5.4-oz Polartec Power Dry 100% polyester (51% recycled) double-knit. Both have Gladiodor® odor control for the garment
  • 187 g (6.6 oz)
  • Made in El Salvador.


Capilene baselayers feature a moisture-wicking polyester fabric that dries quickly. Capilene polyester is also recycled, recyclable and features Gladiodor® garment odor control.


Climbing, skiing, running: at some point you’re going to sweat, and at some point you’re going to stink. Gladiodor® Garment Odor Control reduces unwanted smells on the fabric of a garment so you and your partners can breathe a little easier. Gladiodor treatments are rigorously tested for functionality initially and after washing.

Outdoor Research Highcamp Mitts

In preparation for next winter, I bought these Outdoor Research Highcamp mitts to replace my North Face Nuptse mitts. Haven’t had a chance to test them much, but from what I can tell, they should be a great mitt.

Cost: Around CDN $80


From the Outdoor Research website:

Super warm waterproof protection for cold, variable conditions.

With incredible versatility for extended backcountry adventures, these modular mitts are the warmest in the HighCamp™ family. Removable liners provide warmth and waterproof protection in variable conditions. A waterproof/breathable Ventia Dry™ nylon shell keeps hands dry on the ice, and a wrap-around water-resistant leather palm ensures a confident grip on even the wettest routes. The included 100-weight fleece insulated liner gloves, combined with integrated heat packet pockets and the natural warmth of the mitt design, provide warmth in freezing winter conditions.

Avg. Weight (oz./g): 8.9 / 252 L


  • Features: Shell:
  • Ventia Dry™ construction
  • Waterproof/breathable Ventia™ insert
  • Waterproof/breathable, durable nylon shell Insulation:
  • PrimaLoft® One Insulation: 340g on back of hand and thumb
  • Moonlite Pile fleece palm Palm:
  • Wrap-around water-resistant leather palm Features:
  • Enhanced pre-curve, boxed construction
  • New thumb construction for enhanced articulation
  • Carabiner loop on back of hand
  • Ladder-lock wrist cinch with easy-grip tab
  • SuperCinch™ gauntlet closure
  • Removable Idiot Cord
  • Removable Liner:
  • 100-weight fleece
  • Silicone prints on palm provide solid grip and keeps liner in place under shell
  • Heat pack pocket on back of hand

Here at Outdoor Research, we are committed to developing truly functional solutions for Human Powered Adventure.

OR products are Designed By Adventure™ and from this, we deliver the hallmark of all Outdoor Research products – functional gear that works and lasts. By placing quality and function first, we can offer the finest guarantee in the industry for each and every product – OR’s Infinite Guarantee™.

We believe so strongly in the quality of what we make that if, at anytime, our product fails to meet your needs, we are happy to exchange or return it. Because of this solid belief, our products are guaranteed forever and are designed with this in mind. Your total satisfaction in our product is our goal.

Though we doubt you’ll ever need to, if you ever have to use our Infinite Guarantee, see the Returns and Exchanges section above.

MSR Snowshoe Bag

Well…it’s time to pack away the snowshoes. Just purchased the MSR Snowshoe bag to pack away my Atlas 1025s – a perfect fit. Fits all 22″ and 25″ MSR snowshoes.

This pack features a ripstop nylon mesh which is rugged, long lasting, and allows for great ventilation and breathability. It also has an internal pocket for snowshoe accessories such as flotation tails, and exterior velcro loops for pole attachments. This bag is easy to carry thanks to the adjustable shoulder strap and handle which allows for different carry options.

“Great for worry-free packing and storage, this convenient, zippered bag is built from extra tough fabric to protect your snowshoes and the things you pack them in.”

– MSR website

Cost: Around CDN $35


FYI: MSR = Mountain Safety Research


Woolpower Balaclava

This was my second year wearing the Woolpower Balaclava. On very cold winter days when I want to reduce heat loss and limit exposure from the neck up, I’ve come to appreciate the tried and true balaclava. The Woolpower Balaclava is breathable and quite comfortable. Not too itchy, this 200g/m2 straight neck piece is machine washable in hot (60°C) water, and machine dry-able. Simple and functional, this balaclava can be worn under winter headwear, accommodates ski goggles well, and is very packable.

The primary problem I’ve had with this particular item is its weakness for velcro. Wool is a great material but is prone to terrible snagging and often gets mangled when it comes in contact with velcro (with the exception of some finer wools and wool blends), and a lot of outdoor technical clothing these days often feature velcro. Although it has held up, my balaclava has been noticeably chewed up from a velcro flap closure near the neck of my parka.

Cost: Around CDN $30


April 22, 2012 Eco-Adventure

April 22, 2012 EcoAdventure Race at Fort Whyte Alive


First wave starts at 8:30 am. Tackle this challenging 35K race yourself or as a team.

Not a racer? Come and cheer on your favourite ecoadventurer!

Racers, register at: www.runningroom.com

Fort Whyte Alive’s EcoAdventure Race is a multi-sport adventure race that includes paddling, running, orienteering and cycling. Using bodies, boats and bikes, racers cover a 35K course through Fort Whyte Alive and Assiniboine Park. This race provides a dynamic demonstration of zero emission transportation and engages both racers and spectators in a unique, exciting outdoor sport adventure.

The EcoAdventure is an unsupported race (ie: no support crews needed). You drop off your gear at the designated spots before the race begins and then head back to the start line to hear the words ‘GO’! This race is an adventure so come prepared to deal with unexpected situations. This means bringing the mandatory gear plus any other equipment that you think will help you, as long as the rules do not prohibit it.

Pre-Race Pasta Dinner: Saturday, April 21, 2012

Participants will commence their adventure at the Alloway Reception Centre, 1961 McCreary Rd, on Saturday, April 21, 4:30–6pm, with race information pick-up, pre-race dinner, orientation, and random draws. Athletes will enjoy a high carbohydrate pasta dinner prepared by Boston Pizza. After dinner an orientation on the EcoAdventure will take place. The dinner is open to registered racers only.

Dinner will be served from 4:30pm to 6pm. Orientations to the race will take place at 5:30pm and 6:15pm. At least one member of each team and all individual competitors must attend the dinner to pick up race information. We recommend all racers attend the orientation meeting to review the 2012 race course.

To accelerate the race package pick-up process, please fill out the waiver form and hand-in to the registration table when you arrive on the 21st.

Race Day – Sunday, April 22, 2012

The race will be run in heats. You will be informed of your heat start time at the orientation (sorry, but we are unable to inform you of your heat prior to the orientation dinner). Heat #1 starts at 8:30am, heat #2 starts at 9am, and heat #3 starts at 9:30. You should arrive on race day no later than 45 minutes before your start time.

Some things to keep in mind:

• This is not a typical road race. You will be traveling on water and through bush on uneven ground. Because of the time of year, and depending on the weather, parts of the race course may be very wet and muddy. In addition, the water in our lakes will be very cold. Please take these factors into account as you prepare your equipment.

• Thanks to the Manitoba Orienteering Association, we will continue to use the electronic punch timing system for this year’s race. Each team/individual/relay entry will receive a finger punch that they will carry with them for the race (relay teams will pass the punch from person to person at each exchange zone). This device will be used at each exchange zone to record your interval times, by “punching” a timing box. Full results of your race, including splits for each leg of the race will be printed for you at the finish line. The punches are expensive to replace, therefore, any team who loses their punch will be charged a $50 replacement fee. If you don’t have a punch, you will not be timed and your results will not qualify for medals.

• This race promotes the use of non-polluting transportation methods. Please make every effort to minimize the number of vehicles you or your team will use during the event by carpooling.

• All entries must check in at the registration table on the morning of the race.

• All competitors are required to wear a cycling helmet for the cycling portions of the race.

• Medals will be awarded in all categories, including masters, and male and female categories for the individual event. All competitors will have their names entered in a random draw for great prizes from local companies at the pasta dinner. The award ceremony will take place at approximately 12 noon at FortWhyte Alive.

• Contingency Plans: In the event that ice has not left our lakes by race day, the paddling portion of the race will be eliminated and replaced with a short portaging element.

Detailed Rules And Regulations

1. Interpretation of rules and regulations shall be at the sole discretion of the race directors. All decisions of the race directors will be final and are not contestable.

2. Course marshals will be positioned throughout the race course. All participants are required to follow directions, instructions and decisions rendered by course marshals. Failure to comply with instructions, directions or decisions of course officials, or abuse of course marshals shall be grounds for disqualification.

3. Bib numbers must be clearly displayed on your front at all times. Failure to properly display bib number may result in disqualification.

Travel On Race Course

1. Participants must obey all traffic signals where necessary and travel in a manner that will not disrupt regular traffic (e.g. travelling in a single file line when cycling). If you or your team are seen breaking the rules of the road (pathways), you may be disqualified. You will be sharing the roadways with the general public, please be courteous to all other users.

2. Team members may not become separated by more than 50 metres and must also maintain visual contact with all team members at all times.

3. Use of earphones is not permitted for any portion of the race.

4. Competitors are required to stop and assist any team requiring aid due to injury, accident or other reason. In the event of an emergency, one person must travel to nearest course marshall (shown on maps with a diamond) and inform them of the nature and of the injury and the location of the injured party. Paramedics will then be dispatched to assist if necessary. Teams stopping to offer assistance may receive a time credit.


1. Equipment, bike and boat drop off is from 7:00 – 8:15 am at the exchange zones at FortWhyte Alive. After this time athletes will begin arriving in larger numbers and vehicles dropping off bikes will cause unnecessary congestion and a potential safety concern.  Equipment can also be dropped off at FortWhyte at the Pasta Dinner however, FortWhyte Alive will not accept responsibility for lost or damaged property.Participants are responsible for the transportation, security and identification of all personal equipment.  Labels will be provided for identifying your equipment.

2. Each participant will carry an electronic passport that will be used for race timing. At each exchange zone, this must be punched into a timing box before you can leave the exchange zone. Relay entries must pass the electronic passport from person to person for each leg of the race. Any participant who loses their electronic passport will be assessed a $50 replacement fee.

3. Competitors may carry a backpack with them that may contain water, running shoes, bike helmet, compass, extra clothing, maps/course description, first aid kit, and tire repair kit. Participants must receive permission from the race director to carry items other than those listed here. Teams are permitted to carry more than one pack.

4. GPS units are not permitted.


1. Starting will be done in heats, with staggered start times. All participants are responsible for ensuring they know what heat they are competing in. Any participant that misses the start of their heat will not be given a new start time. Due to the timing system we are unable to change your heat once it has been assigned.

2. Before the start of each heat, competitors will launch their boats for the on-water start. Competitors must not cross the start line prior to the horn.


1. Don’t switch electronic passports with other people.

2. Before the race on Sunday, each team must use the check box at the check-in table to ensure electronic passport is working properly.

3. Punch the box on the way into each exchange zone.

4. Relay teams must pass the electronic passport between competitors at each exchange zone.

5. Electronic passports must be punched at all transition zones and the finish line with the exception of the first zone where the punch will be located at the Pioneer Sod House (between paddling leg and first running leg).

6. At the finish line there will be a finish box, as well as a download box for teams to get their results. Both must be punched.


1. Boats must not be dragged along the ground while being portaged.

2. All participants must wear a Transport Canada approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for the full length of the paddling portion of the race. Participants are permitted to supply their own PFD, as long as it is transport Canada approved. Boat Rentals include paddles and PFD’s.

3. All transitions (land to water, water to land, cycle to run, run to cycle) must be done within area marked by blazing tape or rope.

4. Boats, paddles and PFD’s must be portaged to designated area before transition to running.

Take the challenge in support of environmental education!



• Participants must be 16 years of age or older.

• Participants may only enter ONE event category.

• All teams must be of mixed gender to qualify for prizing (at least one member of the opposite sex).

• All participants must sign a waiver before the race begins.

• Competitors may provide a support crew, however this race course has been designed to accommodate a self-sufficient racer. Supporters are also welcome at the start and finish lines.

• The course exchange zones will have set closure times.

• An electronic passport will be carried by each competitor in the Individual Event, one team member in the Team Event and passed from one relay member to the next in the Relay Event. The electronic passport will be punched at each exchange zone, providing accurate split times for each leg. Teams and individual competitors must present the electronic passport at the finish line.

• Traffic lights, stop signs and train crossings are a part of the race and cannot be avoided. Following all traffic rules is mandatory.

• Winners will be announced and medals awarded for the top three placements in each category.

• Participants will be required to supply their own canoes/kayaks*, paddles, personal flotation devices, compass (GPS not permitted), mountain bike (road bikes not recommended) and helmets. (*Kayaks must be small enough to be portaged by one person.) Two pairs of running shoes are recommended due to possible muddy conditions.


Heat 1 (8:30am) / Heat 2 (9am) / Heat 3 (9:30am) Sunday, April 22, 2012


Available until March 18 Team Event or Relay Event: $250 per team Individual Event: $70 per person


Available from March 19 to April 15 Team Event or Relay Event: $290 per team Individual Event: $80 per person


A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available for rent from FortWhyte Alive on a first come-first served basis:

Kayak Rental: $10 per kayak

Canoe Rental: $20 per canoe Team event requires 2 canoes per team. Includes paddles and PFD’s.

Please visit: www.fortwhyte.org for additional information on canoe and kayak rentals.


Your entry fee will be waived if you raise:

• $400 for team or relay participants, $100 for individual participants, prior to March 18

• $420 for team or relay participants, $110 for individual participants, prior to April 15

Deadline April 15, 2012

***All Participants must complete registration form in full. Fees must accompany entry form, or have total amount of pledges collected in place of fee. Incomplete forms will not be processed***

Team/Individual Souvenir T-Shirt Sizes

We will endeavor to match your choices at the finish line.

XS S M L XL XXL Indicate the quantity for each size. Based on men’s sizing.

$110 for individual participants, prior to April 15 All pledges are made online at



1. PADDLE: Canoe (Team/Relay) -or- Kayak (Individual) Paddle the lakes of FortWhyte Alive. Portage where necessary (approx. 2 km).

2. RUN: Running on trails, roads and limestone paths at FortWhyte Alive (approx. 3.5 km).

3. CYCLE: Cycling will take you through FortWhyte Alive, Assiniboine Forest and to Assiniboine Park (approx. 11 km).

4. RUN: Running down Wellington Cres. to Omand’s Creek Bridge and back to Assiniboine Park (approx. 7 km).

5. CYCLE: Cycling will take you through Assiniboine park and into Assiniboine Forest and back to FortWhyte Alive. (approx. 12 km).

6. NAVIGATE: Navigate a beginner level orienteering course using a detailed topographical map and compass to find a series of check points in the Assiniboine Forest during the second cycle.

Route is subject to change.

Please refer to www.fortwhyte.org for a complete course map and description. The race course will remain open for 4 hours from start of race.

Foraging for Food in the Wild…

In a survival situation, don’t confuse the eating habits of vegetarians and vegans with the idea of living off wild plants and foraging alone. Surviving solely off vegetation found in the bush is very difficult. Vegetarians and vegans have access to beans, broccoli, a wide variety of fruits etc…

In other words, the diet of vegetarians and vegans is comprised of many foods not necessarily found in the “wild.”