Hoping everyone is getting 'off the grid' or at least away from the computer and couch a few times this fall. I had a pretty decent summer; despite living in NS for years I had never camped/canoed in Keji before but changed that in August. Awesome couple of days on the lake, anyone close who can manage a backcountry site won't be disappointed. Backcountry sites are avail for online reservation in 2016 beginning 26 Jan 16 and they go FAST. This year, they've also extended the Keji camping dates to the end of October
; my 3 ones from this summer/fall I thought worth mentioning are:
1. Atlantic Canada GPS Backroad GPS Maps v5
by Backroad Mapbooks
. Easy in install, unlock and use, works flawlessly with Basecamp and my GPS (Garmin 62S
) with zero issues yet. Once you unlock it and add the included GMA file, it has much more detail and info than Garmin TOPO Canada; I've attached a screenshot of the same area (Keji National Park) in BRMB on the left, and Garmin TOPO on the right just to give you an idea. A zoomed in view is too big to attach here but the BRMB version shows trails, relief, wetlands, portages, lots of great useful info. Well worth the $100ish I spent.
2. Optimus Terra Weekened HE cookset
and clip-on windscreen
. I love the speed and ease of canister stoves when the temp's are warmer and use a Pocket Rocket
and GSI Pinnacle Dualist
most of the time, but their boil times start nose-diving in Sept or anytime there is more than a puff of a breeze. I liked some reviews on the Optimus set-up so decided to part with some pay; $33 and tax to MEC for the pot set and I picked up the windscreen on Ebay for about $20 from the States.
I had my first chance to try it out when Mrs EITS and I went to northern NB for the weekend to do Mt Carleton. Awesome day, awesome hike. When we got to the top and into the winds...brrrr; time for a brew-up. The temp's were 2-5'ish Celsius, winds about 2O. The summit tower blocked most of the wind but it was curling around pretty good. The heat exchanger and windscreen really made a difference using a canister stove. Water boiled in about 2 minutes, faster than I was expecting as I didn't have the coffee or food ready for it yet. Very happy to have dropped the $50ish on the kit. The only part about the stove I don't like when compared to the Dualist is how the Dualist will fit scraper, lighter x 2, the bowl/mug set with lids and a 225g canister all in the pot; very compact and user-friendly. The Terra Wknd will hold the canister but that's about it.
Highlight of the summer was probably the 2 days in August spent on Keji Lake; great weather and paddling. The fall; a 3 day weekend trip to Carleton. Overnighted the first night in Bathurst, into the park for the day, and on to Grand Falls that night. Woke up to frost and -2 temps in early Oct, and off to see the falls and gorge that morning before a great fall day driving back home. Even got 1 night of backcountry camping on an island site (#14) in Keji just a few nights ago. Hoping and planning for a few more hikes before the snow starts; South Granite Ridge
, Devils Bend
, and the first two loops of the Bluff Wilderness
would be awesome to take in as it's been a few years since I've been to any of them.
Hope everyone is enjoying at least some of the fall; Happy (and safe) trails!!