Flat Water

If you’re looking for a low profile, lightweight option to carry your water, consider the Platypus water “bottle.”

A great piece of kit for the minimalist.

Cost: Around CDN $13


From the Platypus website:


There’s not a hard bottle out there that’s cleaner, greener, and more flexible than a Platypus SoftBottle. Each one comes with our Clean-Taste Guarantee and it’s made with zero BPA. The SoftBottle is green, too, because it’s ultra-reusable and lightweight, it uses less energy and materials.

Finally, your SoftBottle defines flexible. It fits in a drink holder, a round pocket, a flat pocket, or any hand. When empty, it rolls up and fits anywhere you want it to fit. Plus, it weighs 80% less than hard hydration bottles.

Available with Closure Cap or our new dual-valve HyperFlow Cap.


.5L 1L
Color Gray, Gray, Blueberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Raspberry Gray, Gray, Tangerine, Tangerine, Grape, Grape
Capacity 17 fl. oz / .5 liters 34 fl. oz / 1 liters
Weight .8 oz / 22 g .9 oz / 24 g
Width 5 in / 12 cm 6 in / 15 cm
Length 12 in / 29 cm 13 in / 33 cm
Film Nylon / Polyethylene Nylon / Polyethylene
Spout material Polyethylene Polyethylene
Cap material Polypropylene Polypropylene
Bite valve material
Country of Origin Made in USA Made in USA

ARC’TERYX Rampart Pants

The Arc’Teryx Rampart pants are super lightweight and provide phenomenal freedom of movement. As a result, these pants are extremely comfortable. In addition to being super durable, these pants are also breathable, making them a great choice for hot weather use.


Along with the two heavy duty snap buttons, I especially like the way the pockets are cut, particularly the side cargo pockets. The angles at which the cargo pockets are slashed is very ergonomic.

The only downside is their inability to hang around campfires as the material cannot handle sparks.

From the Arc’Teryx website:

Lightweight, breathable and durable, the Ramparts are urban inspired technical pants for climbing and hiking. Designed for unrestricted mobility they feature articulated knees and seat, and a gusseted crotch. Cargo pockets lie flat when empty and expand as needed. Gender specific patterning.

Technical Features

  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Quick-drying


  • Articulated knees and seat
  • Gusseted crotch

Pocket Configuration

  • Two hand pockets
  • Two pleated cargo pockets with flaps
  • Two rear pockets with flaps
Zippers & Fly Configuration

  • Front fly with snap closure

Waist & Belt Configuration

  • Belt loops

Inseam Length (cm)

  • 80 cm inseam
TerraTex™—Nylon/Spandex blend
  • Machine wash in cold water.
  • Wash dark colours separately.
  • Tumble dry on low heat.
  • Iron on low heat.
  • Do not use fabric softener.
Cost: Around CDN $100


Outdoor Research Zip Sacks

Ultra-durable, waterproof and fully featured.

The versatility and functionality of these zip sacks is in their simplicity. They can be used to create your own survival kit, First Aid kit, Toiletry Bag…the list is endless.

From the Outdoor Research website:

Made of a tough Antron nylon with a durable, waterproof Hydroseal® coating, this dry sack provides reliable waterproof performance. Taped seams and a roll-top closure ensure complete protection, and the external daisy chain and webbing bottom handle simplify carrying.

Avg. Weight (oz./g): 2.4 / 68 5L

  • Hydroseal® coated nylon is waterproof and durable
  • Waterproof taped seams; roll-top waterproof closure
  • Durable buckle secures roll top
  • External daisy chain
  • Webbing bottom handle

Cost: Around CDN $15 and up, depending on the size.


What Came First – the Spoon or Fork?

What came first – the chicken or the egg? Did the spoon come first or did the fork? While the first question may never be answered, who cares which utensil came first when you can buy a Spork! (Spoon + Fork =  Spork).

Whether in your lunch bag or part of your camping gear, a Spork is functional and fun to use.

In this article, two well known producers of Sporks face off in a duel of hi-tech metal vs. plastic.

In one corner, we have the Japanese company SnowPeak whose material of choice for cutlery and other backcountry cooking products is titanium. Super light, super strong, and hypoallergenic, titanium is an excellent choice for those looking for a Spork that will “last forever.”

In the other corner, we have the Swedish based Light My Fire (LMF) who make lightweight ultra funky outdoor & urban food gear out of super durable plastics – also likely to “last forever.”

After testing these two Sporks on a variety of foods…here are my findings:

Weight: The SnowPeak is slightly heavier but both are incredibly lightweight.

Length: Basically the same.

Colour: The SnowPeak has a matt finish which reduces glare while LMF’s Spork comes in a variety of funky colours.

Design: The SnowPeak is clean and straight forward while Light My Fire utilizes both ends for a unique look. In addition, LMF’s Spork’s fork has a serrated outer prong edge.

Durability: While both are dishwasher safe and very robust, the LMF may have a slight advantage in terms of resisting bending and bouncing back to its original shape (within reason). However, the SnowPeak can resist direct heat from flames, campfires etc.

LMF Spork

Ergonomics: Although both hold a variety of foods well, the SnowPeak is much easier to grasp and use. The LMF on the other hand is slightly awkward due to the curvature of the entire utensil…it’s just not as comfortable.

LMF Spork food

In my opinion – the SnowPeak comes first.

SnowPeak – Cost: Around CDN $10

LMF – Cost: Around CDN $3

Western Arctic Inuit Ulu Knife

Had this Ulu brought down from Nunavut. Some of the local Inuit made it from a saw blade and a muskox horn.

The Ulu is a traditional Inuit knife, used primarily by women for general purpose needs.

There are several different styles of Ulu. This one in particular is an example of a “Western Arctic” Ulu knife. Other variations of the Ulu are specific to the geographic location in question.

This is a “mid-size” Ulu. Note the full-size Bic lighter for reference.



Grow Your Own Mushrooms

1 hour
Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
If you have access to oak or poplar branches, you can learn to grow edible mushrooms in your back yard. In this demonstration, Ken Fosty will guide you through the process of planting a shiitake or oyster mushroom spawn on an oak or poplar log, then caring for and harvesting your crop. A take-home mushroom grow kit with everything you need – except a drill and the log – is included in the session.
Fee: $45.00
Ken Fosty is a graduate of the Maritime Forest Ranger College in Fredericton, New Brunswick, as well as a Manitoba certified arborist. He is certified as a professional chainsaw operator by the Ontario Forest Safe Workplace Association (OFSWA). This certification is recognized in Ontario and the Prairie Provinces. On his managed woodlot in Southeast Manitoba, Ken taps Manitoba maple trees for syrup, grows Christmas trees, harvests firewood, plants trees and shrubs, and grows specialty mushrooms on logs.
All seminar net proceeds are donated to United Way.
Seating is Limited
Please register early to avoid disappointment.

To purchase tickets call: (204) 779-7467
Unless otherwise stated, previous experience is not required 
to participate in seminars.
Seminar tickets are not available online. 
Beverages are provided at our seminars and a light
sandwich lunch is provided at all-day events.
Please discuss any special dietary needs
with the staff at time of registration.
In an effort to reduce waste, we encourage you to bring in
your own coffee mug and/or refillable water bottle.
We require that you wear closed shoes
(e.g. running shoes) to all seminars.
Prices are subject to GST.
48 hours notice required for cancellation refunds.
We reserve the right to reschedule seminars.
Lee Valley Tools Ltd.
1395 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
(At Arena Rd.)

Kit Considerations…

When looking for kit, don’t necessarily concern yourself with what’s new… Instead, concern yourself with what’s best.

Remember: Don’t let cost dictate what’s “best.” More expensive doesn’t mean it’s better.